Trust is the driving force that fuels Mediation. Creating trust has many layers and dimensions. Everything the Mediator does can enhance or diminish that sense of trust.

Parties going into Mediation, most often, are consumed by difficult emotions. They are uncertain about the process and fearful of the outcome. The effective Mediator finds ways to put the parties at ease, as much as possible under difficult circumstances.

It is well established that first impressions are formed within an instant of meeting a new person. A Mediator’s body language and tone of voice when greeting the parties create that first impression. Strategies that contribute to creating a positive and trust-inducing first impression include:

  • Appropriate attire

  • Eye contact

  • Welcoming each party to the space

  • Indicating where each party should sit

  • Explain logistics, such as location of rest rooms

    Thoughtful Mediators ask themselves:

  1. Should I shake hands with the parties? If I shake party A’s hand first, will that create questions in party B’s mind regarding my neutrality?

  2. Should water or snacks be available?

  3. What to do about mobile devices!!!

    Trustworthiness must be earned. If considering Mediation for a conflict resolution situation, talk to more than one prospective service provider to make sure that you feel comfortable with the integrity and style of the potential Mediator.

    For a free 30 minute consultation to learn if Mediation is an appropriate resource to help you resolve a conflict, contact Keystone Conflict Solutions LLC (404) 314-7228 or

If you are interested in more information regarding this topic, go to and click on the Blog page.