Transitioning from conflict to resolution involves a lot of give and take, not the least of which is the giving and receiving of information.
Although there are circumstances that practically call for someone’s exclusion from settlement discussions, they are exceptional. Face to face communicating often can not only provide a cathartic (settlement-enabling) opportunity, it can also be most informative.
We learn from birth to inform and be informed by gestures, tones and facial expressions. These are part of the dialogue, and communication in their absence leaves out some of the most vital parts of the exchange. Itcan be the very cause of a mediation breaking down or failing to get off the ground in the first place.
The importance of settling, finality and avoiding litigation and all of the other potential benefits mediation offers should not be undermined by foregoing or underestimating the investment of personal participation. Do not, therefore, be easily discouraged or overly pessimistic about the prospects of mediation leading to settlement.
Personal dynamics ought to be given their chance to have an impact at the table.