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Why Neutrality is Vital to Mediation

Stephanie S. Pengilley.

September 26, 2023

The primary goal of mediation is to come up with a solution that everyone involved can agree upon. But this can prove challenging—especially if the mediator does not stay impartial. Let’s explore why maintaining neutrality is vital to mediation.

More Credibility

A mediator's credibility is closely connected to their neutrality. If they pick sides or show bias, it can make people wonder if they're being fair. Conversely, when a mediator remains impartial, they're seen as a trusted authority, making it easier for parties to have faith in their guidance.

Better Outcomes

Clients expect mediators to look at disputes from multiple angles, stay neutral, and refrain from showing favoritism. Maintaining impartiality ensures that the mediation process is grounded in principles of justice and equity, increasing the likelihood that parties will agree on an outcome.

Better Communication

A good mediator knows that when they are neutral, they create a safe space—an atmosphere where open and honest communication flows freely. It should come as no surprise that disputing parties often have strong feelings and different viewpoints.

But when you maintain neutrality and assure both parties that their opinions will be heard without judgments, you create space for more productive and collaborative discussions, boosting the chances of finding solutions that work for everyone.

More Common Ground

When disputing parties have confidence in the mediator's impartiality, they are more likely to trust "the process." Mediators should aim to soothe rather than escalate conflicts. By consistently upholding neutrality, mediators establish an atmosphere where parties are increasingly willing to collaborate, find common ground, and, most importantly, arrive at a more amicable resolution.

Preserve Autonomy

Maintaining neutrality ensures that the decision-making power remains with the parties involved in the dispute. A neutral mediator doesn't impose solutions but guides the parties in finding their resolutions. This preserves the parties’ autonomy, empowering them to take ownership of the outcome and feel satisfaction with it.

Minimize Legal & Ethical Risks

Maintaining neutrality reduces the likelihood of legal and ethical complications in the mediation process. How? When a mediator remains impartial, it reduces the potential for accusations of bias, unfairness, or misconduct, which could lead to legal disputes or hurt the mediator's reputation. In short, neutrality helps protect the integrity of the mediation process and the mediator's professional standing.

Preserve Confidentiality

Neutrality is essential for keeping things confidential in mediation. People who feel the mediator is fair and impartial are more likely to share private and sensitive information. This confidentiality is crucial for creating a safe space where parties can talk openly without worrying about their secrets getting out. Neutrality helps reinforce this privacy, making discussions more honest and productive.

Pengilley Myers APC: Your Trusted Mediation Partner

Facing a Dispute? Need a Fair Resolution? Contact the legal team at CA Consumer Law APC today! Our dedicated team is here to help you find common ground, resolve conflicts, and reach a satisfying resolution. Let us be your trusted partners in effective and efficient dispute resolution.


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Why Neutrality is Vital to Mediation


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