Mediation is a voluntary collaborative dispute resolution process where an impartial party, the mediator, meets with disputants in an effort to identify the issues, explore options and clarify goals. A mediator may add content and/or make suggestions aimed at moving parties toward a mutually-acceptable agreement. A mediator helps interpret each party’s needs and thoughts to the other side; and helps to keep the parties communicating by focusing on fairness and on achieving workable, equitable solutions (see also Facilitation).

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