Wednesday, January 18

The Third Space (2)

Seems we've discovered a new grain of sand on the mediation beach if the responses I got to my last blog, The Third Space : the humble corridor encounter are anything to go by.

My take on corridor encounters is the obvious - that they are very different in tone and content from joint session or private caucus conversations.

So first to tone;

Corridor encounters seem to usually involve a variation on the line up of participants and are often with one or other of the attorneys (or both) who typically adopt a different posture with each other out of earshot of clients.

In my experience it's most effective for the attorneys NOT to have instructions on any of the matters under discussion in the corridor.

Corridor encounters often appear to be accidental in the sense they are not usually planned by the participants (although I may often contrive them...really??) and, unlike a more formal 'short line-out' of attorneys and the mediator, they don't seem to require consultation with clients.

They typically occur en route to the loo/kitchen/for a smoke/to make a phone call...

They are usually very brief affairs and have a hushed 'in passing' tone about them and are often best held towards the end of the mediation process.

Cut through/bottom line mediation language is expected.

Such encounters often determine what happens next in the process and, to that extent, have a coaching element to them
aimed at choreographing a forthcoming exchange.

For that reason, I find myself volunteering views about the best way forward and in turn am often pressed for the sorts of opinions I would not dream of making on line - in joint or private - as a facilitative mediator.

Lets look at typical content of corridor encounter conversations next post.

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