Mediation Impasse

Person Meditating on a cliff.

Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

4 March 2021

You are the sole mediator. There is an impasse. Nothing is moving. You are beginning to feel the pressure. And you do wonder if you are doing things right.

This is where your skills come into play – Are you thinking creatively? Have you an open mind or are you, like the parties, getting locked into blinkered attitudes? Always a good question to ask yourself.

You need a few moments on your own – a breath of fresh air, a change of surroundings. Maybe a brisk 15 minute walk to review + reflect. Best thinking is achieved on early morning walks through the park, alongside the waking pavements – something about the rhythm of a step at a time helping to find a solution.

Give yourself a mini-agenda. Think of options such as (1) dangers to the parties of no progress or (2) have you found the real reason for the impasse or (3) even stirring the parties to speak their minds – to you, not the other side. A bit of breaking out does work.

Return revitalised with a new approach + see if it works. If it does then drop me a line. Thanks

Read my blog on: Are you a competent Mediator?

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