Mediation Resources

In addition to my articles on this site and blog posts about mediation, the following online information—all free — can be very valuable for mediation.    These include many of Bill Eddy’s articles on making proposals and negotiating.    The High Conflict Institute’s site is full of helpful articles, including:

Bill’s site is

Yes, no, or I’ll think about it (Making and responding to proposals)

Making proposals and what’s in a proposal

Don’t ask why the other party is proposing something.  This comes up all the time in family mediation.  I’ll bring a proposal from Party 1 to Party 2 and Party 2’s first statement is “Why would he do that?”  Then they try to analyze what Party 1 is thinking or doing.   That’s not important.  Trying to analyze a Party’s reasoning in making a proposal is a lot of speculation (usually wrong) and doesn’t move you closer to settlement.   Asking why also focuses on the past and on challenging the other person’s point of view.   Instead of asking “why”, try to focus on “what’s the proposal” in order to move forward.  Bill Eddy wrote an interesting article on the phenomenon of asking why in mediation — review it at

Bill has also written specific articles about mediating high conflict disputes:

And the use of Empathy, Attention and Respect (EAR) applies in most mediations, but especially those that involve an unusually high level of emotions:

Attorneys and mediators can benefit from concentrating on how to coach clients to make proposals

Overcoming the top 6 barriers to settlement is an important article for attorneys, as most of the “barriers” can be dealt with by an attorney with his client before the mediation starts.

Dealing with Difficult People  (free download)  This report is from the Harvard Program on Negotiation and is a deep dive into negotiating with the most difficult of personalities.  If you’re an attorney and dreading a mediation or negotiation with someone you really don’t understand and who seems to be difficult for the sake of being difficult, this discussion and these strategies can help