A key to the mediators role is
suspension of disbelief.

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Role of the Mediator

Impartiality.

Maintain an "outsider's" impartial view of the parties and their issues.

Disclose a prior relationship

-if any- with either party.

Provide the parties

with a safe and comfortable environment for dealing with their issues.

Clarify goals.

Help the parties identify their goals and try to achieve them.

Provide information

about the subject area being discussed.

Promote mutual understanding.

Help the parties listen and understand each other's perspective better.

Foster creativity.

Help the parties identify solutions to their dilemmas.

Resolve disagreements.

Help the parties untangle their "sticking points".

Leave decisions to the parties.

Maintain the parties' autonomy in making their own decisions.

Educate and inform.

Provide information as necessary.

Reality tests.

Help the parties understand the consequences of various options that they are exploring and the consequences of failing to reach an agreement.

Encourage and commend collaboration.

If the Parties need to continue working or collaborating after the mediation, the mediator, via the mediation process, helps them transition to a different and better working relationship going forward.