Mediator issue intervention strategies: A replication and some conclusions



The goal of the study reported here was to compare two samples of mediator intervention strategies to learn about sources of dissatisfaction among clients. The results indicate that the more mediators ignore disputants' relational concerns, the more difficulty they will experience in reaching agreement. In both samples, couples who came to mediation with significant relational baggage quickly moved the discussion toward these concerns and away from substantive issues. Mediators who had trouble reaching agreement bypassed any mention of these issues and instead focused on facts. By failing to provide the clients with an opportunity to vent emotional concerns, these mediators may have contributed significantly to decreased client satisfaction.