Mediation is Finding Common Ground

Mediation is Finding Common Ground

Mediation is more than two people just talking about what they believe is right or wrong.  It is a process of each telling their view of events, presenting facts and then listening to what the other party has to say.  It’s a sharing of feelings and point of view.  Each person hears how the other sees the situation.  It allows an opening of possibilities that can lead to resolution. Laura and Bill (not their real names) came to mediation to resolve a dispute regarding back rent and a broken lease.  Bill needed a room to rent while attending school.  He was anxious to find an affordable place near his college.  Laura had a room open in her house and Bill was excited to find something in the right location.  Prior to this his commute had been quite long and tiring.  He was happy to have a private bath and a shared kitchen. The terms of the lease were written in a contract which both parties reviewed together.  Bill believed he had found the right situation for himself and Laura now had all her rooms filled.  Bill paid several months’ rent in advance convinced he would be there through the entire year.  Unfortunately, before the first month had passed Bill became unhappy with the arrangements.  He felt that Laura had not disclosed all the circumstances of the living arrangements.  He was feeling the lack of privacy and too much traffic in and out of the house.  He soon realized he’d made a mistake and wanted out of the lease. Bill approached Laura with his concerns, requesting to be let out...