The Value Of Private Caucuses – Air, Err and Calibrate

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.

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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.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
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