By Joan Champagne, White & Champagne
Recently, I participated in a mediation. The case did not settle. Later that evening, I received an email from the mediator, giving me some feedback as to the what the mediator thought were the stumbling blocks in the case that day and some ideas as to what resolutions may still be salvageable.
I rarely receive post-mediation emails from a mediator. But I really appreciated the feedback. It was challenging yet motivating.
Once the mediator’s report is filed, the mediator is usually finished with the case forever, and often the last thing a mediator wants to do is to keep thinking about a case after the mediation has concluded. But for a mediator to go the extra mile to give his or her impressions to each attorney, this can create reverberations that result in the eventual resolution of the matter. Giving feedback is also a form of mentoring.
For the mediator, solicit feedback from your fellow attorneys. Especially attorneys who are also mediators. How to get constructive feedback? Ask! There are various ways to solicit feedback: mediation evaluation surveys, feedback request forms, thank you emails which invite comment, a follow up phone call, or even a brief conversation during a break at an IndyBar mediation CLE.
Giving and getting constructive feedback in the context of mediation can be extremely helpful for improving one’s mediation skills and building and maintaining a successful mediation practice.
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