Northwest Mediation carries out most mediations using the shuttle or caucus method. This means we use three rooms.
When we initially speak to clients they often ask what's the point of having three rooms, won't two or one be enough?
The simple answer is no. The reason for the third room is to ensure that both sides are treated equally, and that they feel and accept that equal treatment. Ensuring that no one party feels that the mediator is "on side" with the other.
Over Christmas I was watching a series in which two military leaders are opposed, they each have a war ship and they each want to be in charge of the armada. Their ships are their "rooms" the president (a civilian political leader) offers the two military leaders a neutral meeting location, the presidential ship, the "third room".
Brilliant idea, sadly the president fails to maintain the neutrality of the third room by dismissing one military leader and keeping the other for further talks. That defeats the spirit and purpose of the mediation and inevitably leads to further conflict.
Keeping that third room neutral where both parties can meet at the start of the mediation, and occasionally at the end allows them to speak more freely in their individual rooms knowing that the mediator is wholly independent of the other.
If you have a dispute in need of independent mediation, whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes or inheritance arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at
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