What you know at the start of a mediation session is very different from that at the end.
This is why and when you ought to wait to decide what’s possible.
Parties want the process to be over quickly, but that’s usually antithetical to reaching the best outcome. Prepare yourselves and/or your clients for the time it takes to mediate; to give parties the chance to exchange positions (arguments), reason through them, their choices and their consequences, and make well-informed decisions.
Along the way, you should be able to trust that your mediator – a neutral – is working through that reasoning with you. Be open to his/her questioning and challenges, and try to resist becoming closed or defensive to disagreeable discussions. You may be moved beyond your expectations and comfort zone, but it’s to help you consider all possibilities and which is best for you.
The end result should be an outcome earnestly arrived at on terms you’ve reasoned are in your best interest.