You are mediating a dispute. You have asked the parties to set out their positions but things are not going well. There is no movement. Heels are being dug in.
Now is the time to start thinking about anti-logjam. How to get some activity? How to move matters to a new context? Where are the parties strong + where are the parties weak?
A suggestion – start to talk about interests + not positions. Ask the parties – separately of course – what they are hoping for. Not a decisive breakthrough moment but a beginning of the process of stripping the leaves off the artichoke.
Gradually you get to the core – to the heart of the possible outcomes. You begin to sense both parties strengths + vulnerabilities + you begin to get into significant discussions. Then ask each party how they think the other party will respond to possible adjustments to the negotiating position.
You have some movement. Parties are showing an interest in solutions. The door is opening. Press on.