Mediatorin Dr. Annette Oschmann

5 Phases of Mediation: How Does Mediation Work

The first phase: opening and entry

We get to know each other and conclude a mediation agreement, which sets out the basic procedural rules: We agree on confidentiality for all parties involved, timeframe, communication principles, voluntary participation and how to deal with any ongoing court or arbitration proceedings. I answer all the questions you may have.

The second phase: We identify and collect your conflict issues

In the second phase, we identify and collect your conflict issues. Any topic that is important only to one single party is put onto the agenda and becomes the subject of mediation. I make sure that each party gets their space to name and fully explain their topics in a trusted environment.

The third phase: We clarify your interests

In the third phase, I will discuss with you which individual interests and needs are behind your topics. This is an essential element of mediation and is often done in confidential one-to-one discussions. What is driving you? How do you personally and subjectively evaluate the contentious issues? How do you see the whole thing? It is important for me to fully understand you and your point of view.

The fourth phase: We collect your solution proposals

In a joint brainstorming we collect your suggestions for a solution, without any ifs and buts, and without evaluating them. Your ideas count now. I lead, teach and give tips to think bigger and beyond, or even in completely new directions – this opens up new approaches that you might not even have thought of before.

The fifth phase: We evaluate your solution proposals together

We jointly address and evaluate every single solution proposal. Will it live up to all interests concerned? Is it workable? And finally: is it legally effective? The result of this process is your individual and interest-oriented solution.

The final agreement as a new basis

With your input I draft your final agreement, which contains all solutions attained in our previous work. I organize and structure your solutions. Your solutions! So, the final agreement is the new basis of your future relationship.

Optional: follow-up sessions

If you wish, we can meet again at any time to see how the agreement has worked in practice. Such follow-up sessions are optional and can take place, for example, three to six months after completion of the mediation.

»I thought we would not find out of this swamp. Thanks to mediation, I can talk to my siblings again.«

Gerhard M., 58, co-heir