Private caucuses are the most effective forums for communication in mediation.
Private caucuses liberally allow you to inform, receive and reflect. As well, they provide the opportunity to measure the pace of reaching conclusions and disclosing information – individuals can only digest so much information at a time and can only progress so far at any given point. A skilled mediator helps manage and deliver your messages in a way that is conducive to achieving your objectives of resolving the matter.
While in private caucus, remember to leave room for consideration. Since it’s just you and the mediator you ought not feel constrained in doing so. There, strong positions and sentiments can come out safely and without interruption. You’ll also have the mediator’s undivided attention focused on helping you address competing views and forming counter-responses that help promote a beneficial outcome. After all, one of the benefits of the private caucus, particularly with someone knowledgeable in the dispute’s subject matter and a variety of resolutions, is utilizing the neutral to explore (reality check) the availability and value of information and resources, and how things could play out.
The takeaway is to remember you have the private caucus – several, in fact – to air, err and calibrate. Using it aptly may help you avoid backing yourself and your clients into corners that could be costly to get out of.