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Mediated Negotiations - The Function of the Intake

NCJ Number
Mediation Quarterly Issue: 6 Dated: (December 1984) Pages: 3-15
J M Haynes
Date Published
13 pages
This overview of the negotiations process takes a close look at the intake session, identifying mediators' specific tasks and roles at each step.
Mediators must assume that the mediation process begins when they communicate with people who call to ask about the service. After establishing a beginning relationship on the telephone, mediators prepare for the arrival of the couple and their first face-to-face meeting. The purpose of the first meeting is to educate the couple about the mediation process, the mediators role the children's, role relationship with attorneys, confidentiality, and fees. Mediators set the framework for cooperation by establishing control, exhibiting balance and fairness, focusing on task, and setting standards of fairness. Mediators use the physical arrangements of the room to help restructure the couple's expectations. Besides fulfilling the functions related to the couple's needs, intake allows mediators to set the stage for the negotiations phase and to analyze the couple's approach to bargaining, problemsolving methods, and reasons for mediation. When all these tasks have been accomplished satisfactorily, the couple is ready to move to the fact-finding phase. At this point, mediators should understand unstated issues and any hidden agendas. Four figures and six references are given.


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