Once a t_entative agreement is reached on each of the issues on the agenda, the mediator leads th_e_ disputants in ~ revision of each point in the agreement, testing for specificity and workab1hty. Because this book presents the theory and skills of basic mediation, settlement writing is highlighted with its own phase. Poorly written mediation agreements that dispu tants interpret differently can cause more damage than good. For example, if roommates agree to “respect each other’s time for studying,” but they do not determine what “respect” means for each of them, the agreement is open to interpretation. If Sarah wants to have a par~y o~ Frida~ nig~t, Elli can say, “That isn’t very respectful!” But Sarah could argue that having ~ton Fnday instead of Sunday is very respectful. Only when the agreement is clear, unambiguous, and understood by both parties in the same way should an agreement be solidified. If the disputants do not reach agreement, the mediator will move to closure without a settlement or schedule additional sessions.
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Testing and Writing Settlement Agreements