Online Mediation Techniques: A Case Study

Online Mediation Techniques
  • Agree to the mediator’s stipulations about where you can be located to take part in online mediation. For example, your mediator is likely to insist on the mediation taking place:

    • In a private place
    • Using a private, not public, internet connection
    • In a static location—ie. not while driving
    • In a room with no one else in or listening in
    • With no recording devices present
    • With no texting, emailing, or online chatting with each other or third parties
    • With total focus on the video conference and no distractions on screen
    • With both spouses staying visible in the screen frame at all times, eyes focused on the camera, with head and shoulders visible unless excused by the mediator.
    • With no talking while someone else is talking is allowed – parties need to be aware that if mouths move while on mute, lip reading can misinterpret what’s being said. For example, the mouth movements required to say ‘forward’ are similar to those required to say ‘f*** you’.
    • No background noises in the room (such as a TV or radio) during the video conference call
    • No sudden movements or hand gestures.
  • Try to relax and not perform too many wild gestures or movements with your hands and body, as it’s difficult for the mediator to hear or see you

  • Do not shout or scream, as your voice will distort and all the other people on the video conference will hear is blurbs of noise

  • Be sure you are conducting the online mediation from a location that has a strong internet connection

  • Also be sure to check the weather conditions in the area ahead of the session, as any storms can adversely affect the quality of the video conference sound and pictures.

  • Be prepared to be muted by the mediator until it’s your turn to speak. Your mediator will ensure you and your spouse both have equal opportunity to state your side of the story. Use the Raise Your Hand function if it’s available.

  • Do not bring smart phones or other devices into the mediation sessions. They can be a distraction, and the discussion needs to be between the two spouses, with no outside influences.

  • Both spouses should be focused on the video screen at all times. If eyes are wandering away to other things in the room, it shows lack of focus and disrespect, both of which will reduce the effectiveness of online mediation techniques.

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