Contact us

Contact Us


Posts Tagged ‘mediation’

Common Challenges in Employment Mediation and How to Overcome Them

Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process where disputing parties engage, with the help of an impartial party, a mediator, to resolve their disputes. It can be an expeditious way of solving workplace conflicts without public scrutiny as it is a private process, parties can come up with creative solutions for the issues at hand, and it is also cost-effective.

Like any other mediation service, employment mediation is not without common challenges that can hinder its effectiveness. However, with the right approach and tools, many of the common challenges and issues can be overcome, facilitating collaborative solutions between the conflicting parties. Let us look at some common challenges experienced in employment mediation and practical ways that we overcome them at Blue Sky Mediation Center.

Unwillingness to Meet Face-to-Face

Employment Mediation

Direct and constructive communication plays a crucial role in resolving workplace disputes. When parties are unwilling to meet face-to-face, this can hinder the progress of the mediation process. To overcome this challenge, the mediator can organize private sessions to start with. We utilize the “caucus method” at Blue Sky Mediation Center, where each group is given their own room (either virtually or in person). This allows the parties involved in the dispute to relax, knowing that they will not be forced to confront the opposing party and/or opposing attorney. This can help you reach a mutual settlement and give you confidence in ensuring the terms of the settlement work.

Negotiation Impasse

An impasse may occur when each party refrains from making the first offer, when one party makes a first offer and remains immovable even after offers from the other side, or when parties disagree on offers and fail to move further. In such situations, it is best to take a break, and reconvene when the parties have reflected on the issue and had a chance to cool down. Dealing with such an impasse is a common occurrence during a mediation, and our mediators have many tools that allow them to break such an impasse and continue the momentum towards a full and final resolution.

Lack of Trust

Another common challenge in employment mediation is a lack of trust. Sometimes, employees may distrust their employer, the attorneys, or even the mediation process itself. This can result in a reluctance to actively participate and share information or even agree on possible solutions to remedy the problem. To overcome this, you should choose an impartial, skilled, and experienced mediator who can maintain confidentiality and help you gain trust in the process so that you can actively work towards resolving the conflict. They can do this by encouraging you to clarify your expectations, air your concerns or doubts at any point during the mediation process, and find common interests and goals with the other party to build trust.

Power Imbalance

Employment mediation often involves dealing with power imbalances (real or perceived) between the parties. Sometimes, employees may feel pressured, intimidated, or coerced by their employer and/or their attorney, especially if facing a grievance or disciplinary issue. This can affect the autonomy of mediation and hinder employees from expressing their interests. To overcome this challenge, employees should be well-prepared for the mediation and set the goals and boundaries for the session. They can also use the mediator’s expertise in facilitating the confidential communication to help them balance the power dynamics so that their issues are resolved amicably, regardless of status.

Unrealistic Expectations

Another challenge is when employees enter mediation with high hopes and unrealistic expectations or demands that, when not met, often lead to disappointment or an impasse. While the mediator is an impartial and unbiased third party, some employees expect these professionals to take sides or even impose a solution. To overcome this challenge, employees should avoid unrealistic expectations, be open-minded and willing to explore alternatives to a settlement and listen to the other party’s interests and needs.  As we oftentimes say in mediation “the currency in which we deal is compromise.”

Emotional Intensity

Employment disputes can be emotionally charged, leading to anger, hurt, frustration, or anxiety. These feelings can trigger defensive or aggressive emotions, escalating the conflict instead of finding constructive solutions. To overcome this, parties should acknowledge their emotions and effectively manage them to maintain a constructive atmosphere. They can also focus on the future and not the past, their interests instead of positions. A skilled mediator can guide you to focus on the issues at hand and to see the true value of a settlement.

Lack of Commitment

The final challenge in employment mediation is when one or both parties are not committed to participating in the process in good faith, thereby hindering progress. The parties should set clear, achievable goals to remain committed to achieving a resolution through mediation. They should consider the true and full benefits of reaching an agreement through mediation, such as avoiding the uncertainties of litigation, cost- saving, and preserving working relationships.

Contact an Experienced Employment Mediator in San Diego, CA Today

Employment mediation offers an opportunity to creatively resolve workplace disputes in ways that litigation may not. Although you may face a few challenges during the mediation process, there are many ways of overcoming them and crafting unique remedies to your workplace conflicts. If you are involved in a workplace dispute in San Diego County, do not hesitate to contact the experienced employment mediator at Blue Sky Mediation Center at 760.454.7277 or online to learn how mediation can benefit you.

Will Mediation Allow Me to Tell My Side of the Story?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023

Mediation is an extremely productive dispute resolution process that allows parties to resolve disputes in a private and less formal setting with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. Mediation is a commonly used method that is effectively used to resolve disputes in various contexts, such as employment disputes, business disputes, civil litigation, and divorce. The question of whether mediation will allow you to tell your side of the story is valid, and if you are seeking to be heard and your grievances addressed, mediation may be the best option for you.

How Mediation Can Help You Tell Your Side of the Story?

Mediation can help you to tell your side of the story in several ways:

Informal Setting

Mediation as an alternative dispute resolution practice provides a more relaxed and informal setting than formal litigation in a courtroom, allowing for a more authentic and open discussion of the issues. This can create an atmosphere where you feel comfortable telling your side of the story and expressing your needs and interests.

Active Participation

In mediation, you are actively involved in the process and have the opportunity to tell your side of the story. The mediator acts as a facilitator, helping to create an environment where you can communicate effectively. Active participation allows you to have a voice in the outcome of the dispute and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution.


Mediation is a more flexible and informal approach to resolving disputes than litigation in a courtroom. With traditional litigation, the strict rules of procedure and evidence you must follow can make it challenging to tell your side of the story without fear of repercussions. In contrast, mediation is a far more relaxed and collaborative approach. If you can’t go to the mediation center then they can offer remote mediation sessions create virtual solutions. Although there are rules, such as not interrupting or talking over the other party, you can have open, respectful communication and air your interests and concerns freely. This way, it is possible to have solutions tailored to meet your needs and those of the other party.


Another huge benefit of mediation is that it provides a safe and completely confidential space for resolving disputes. The proceedings in a mediation session are privileged, and you, therefore, have far greater privacy. Nothing you share with the mediator during mediation can be used against you in formal litigation. In a courtroom setting, however, the proceedings are open to the public, making it difficult to discuss sensitive and private information and making you feel like you have yet to be heard. The ability for the mediator to speak with each party ex-parte can also provide a sense of comfort and security for you, as you can discuss sensitive or personal information in a private setting, free from the public scrutiny of a courtroom. Mediation may be best for you if your case is sensitive and involves a lot of personal information being shared.

Focus on Interests

Focus on interests in mediation refers to the approach where a mediator seeks to identify the underlying reasons behind a party’s position. Mediation focuses on such interests rather than your position and, in this way, allows you to tell your side of the story. For example, say you and your neighbor are conflicting over the fence placement in your backyard. Your position is that you would like the fence to be a few feet into your neighbor’s backyard, while your neighbor prefers having the fence on the property line. A mediator will strive to learn the reason behind this and come up with an amicable solution for both parties after understanding all of the facts of the issue.

Collaborative Space

Mediation is a collaborative and solution-focused approach to dispute resolution, which can result in greater emotional satisfaction and closure for the parties involved. Unlike traditional litigation, which can be extremely adversarial and emotionally draining, mediation allows the parties to work together to find a mutually acceptable resolution. A collaborative space like this can reduce tensions and negative emotions, leading to more open communication where your side of the story can be heard. The collaborative nature of mediation can also help to preserve relationships between the parties, which can be particularly important in disputes involving family members, business partners, or long-term colleagues.

To reap the benefits of mediation, choosing a mediator with the skills and experience to manage the process effectively is crucial. A skilled mediator can help how to prepare for your mediation session and create a safe and collaborative environment where you feel heard and understood and achieve fair and satisfying resolutions.

Contact a Skilled and Experienced Mediator in California

If you are facing a dispute in California, contact the skilled and experienced mediator at BlueSky Mediation Center in California. You can reach us at 760-454-7277 to schedule a free consultation today. You can also email our case manager, Allison Fortuna, at We are committed to listening to your side of the story and achieving fair resolutions for your dispute as expeditiously as possible.

How to Prepare for Your Mediation Session

Sunday, January 15th, 2023

Mediation is a process of resolving disputes outside of court, where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates communication and negotiations between the disputing parties. In California, mediation has become an extremely popular and effective way to handle conflict resolution, as it is quicker, less expensive, and less formal than going to court.

It is important to be well-prepared to ensure your mediation session is productive and successful.

This article discusses some tips to help you prepare for your mediation session in California so you can feel confident and ready for a productive negotiation.

1. Choose a Highly Qualified and Experienced Mediator

Take time to research mediators and choose someone with experience relevant to your dispute. It is also advisable to review the mediation process, including the role of the mediator, the rules of evidence, how the session will be structured, measures for confidentiality, and the cost of the mediation session. Many mediators charge an hourly fee for all work performed, while others charge a one-time, simple flat fee.

2. Gather Relevant Documents

Gather any documents related to the dispute, such as emails, receipts, contracts, invoices, or other materials that you foresee coming in handy in the resolution. Be thoroughly familiar with your documents, and be prepared to clarify and provide explanations as needed. These documents help support your case and may also be useful in negotiating a resolution.

3. Communicate With the Other Party

Try to communicate with the other party ahead of the mediation session. This helps clear up misunderstandings and establish a more positive atmosphere for the session. However, avoid discussing confidential information that may be inappropriate outside the mediation session. In California, mediation proceedings and communications between parties are confidential and inadmissible as evidence in court, except in very limited circumstances. The high level of confidentiality means that any information or statements made during mediation cannot be disclosed or used in court without the consent of all parties. By avoiding discussing confidential or sensitive information outside of the mediation session, you can help to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the negotiation process.

4. Arrange for Representation

If you have a lawyer, discuss your case in detail with them well before the mediation session. Your lawyer can help you prepare for the session and provide legal advice during the session if needed. You may also have your lawyer help you prepare your mediation brief, which is a summary of your position, as many mediators ask for briefing ahead of your mediation session. If you do not have a lawyer, consider hiring one or finding a free or low-cost legal services provider.

5. Consider Goals for Your Mediation

It is important to consider what you hope to achieve in the session. Consider your goals and what matters to you in solving the dispute. Before the mediation session, take some time to think about your priorities and goals for the session and how you will determine if you have achieved the result you were hoping for from the session. This will help you stay focused during the session and make reaching a resolution that meets your goals and needs easier. It is important to remember that compromise is an inherent part of the mediation process.

6. Be Prepared to Make the First Offer

If you value the financial result from the mediation session, making a reasonable and fair first offer will enable you to anchor the negotiation in your favor. However, if you are uncertain about the value of what you are negotiating or would prefer to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with “showing your cards” first, it may be best to refrain from making the first offer. Be sure to discuss this in detail with your lawyer well before the mediation session to determine your agreed upon strategy.

7. Be Open to Compromise

Mediation is a process that involves give and take, and being open to compromise is absolutely critical in order to move the mediation process forward. The success of the process depends on all parties’ willingness to compromise. Be prepared to listen to the other party’s perspective and consider their position.

8. Be Prepared to Make a Decision

At the end of the session, the mediator may ask you to decide whether to accept a proposed resolution. Be prepared to make a decision, but also be prepared to continue the negotiation process if needed. Mediation provides you with a wonderful opportunity to put an end to protracted litigation, and that decision is ultimately yours to make.

Contact the Skilled Mediators in Encinitas, California, at Blue Sky Mediation Center, LLC. If you are considering mediation for your dispute, contact our experienced mediator in San Diego County at Blue Sky Mediation Center or call us at 760.454.7277. Schedule a free consultation with us today, and we can help you determine which legal resolution method is right for you.

Contact Us