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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Telling the story

Mark Jackson-Stops, Head of Chambers, writes:

Chambers member, David Richbell, is one of the big beasts of the mediation world. He has a formidable reputation as a mediator and a mediation trainer, having written the Mediation Handbook when Director of Training at CEDR. He founded and runs MATA, the training organisation responsible for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators mediation course. Experienced mediators hang on his every word. Here is his tip:

"Parties ‘tell their story’.

One of the key advantages of mediation is that parties can have their ‘day in court’ – in a way that does not happen if they go to Court. In Court a party is stood in a box, asked specific questions (some of which are designed to make them uncomfortable, even foolish) and rarely, if ever, given the opportunity to tell their story.

Mediation is different. People see events/facts differently for a whole lot of reasons – culture, age, gender, education and so on. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their truth is any more right or wrong – just different.

Effective mediators make time for all parties to tell their truth (and encourage them to listen to the other party’s truth) and this is a major factor in helping them to move from the past to working out a future within the dispute."

Mediator: David Richbell



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