It's quite possible that opposing parties of a mediation will not trust each other. Whatever issue has brought them to this process, you can assume both sides are feeling anxious and have their walls up.
This is why it's so crucial that all participants be able to trust you, the mediator. You are the one objective individual at the negotiation table—the stable center in the midst of all those swirling emotions, expectations, and uncertainty.
From the very first point of contact, until the issue at hand has been resolved, the mediator must earn and maintain the trust of his or her clients. One of the key ways mediators accomplish this is by cultivating rapport, putting participants at ease, and establishing an atmosphere of cooperation.
But in their eagerness to build rapport, mediators sometimes stumble into traps. Take a look at 4 common mistakes to avoid when you're seeking to connect with your clients.