WORDS Matter – What to Leave at the Courthouse When Mediating

CLE Credits: 1.0 General

Words wield tremendous power in the mediation process, influencing the parties’ ability to find resolution and maintain their focus on the shared goal of resolution rather than litigation. To enhance listening and negotiation abilities in mediation, the impact of language and its impact on the conflict mindset is significant. Legal advocates and mediators have the opportunity to explore the critical importance of choosing their words wisely when engaged in the mediation process. Harold and Dr. Debra delve into the nuanced challenges that arise when courtroom language seeps into the mediation room and how it can hinder progress.

Using more neutral, inclusive, and collaborative terminology can help mitigate the negative effects of strong language. For example, referring to “parties” instead of “opposing counsel” or “disputants” can create a more balanced and cooperative atmosphere.

Through real-world examples and interactive discussions, attendees gain practical strategies to navigate these potential pitfalls, fostering an environment of cooperation and understanding. Join us for an engaging session focused on elevating your mediation practice, strengthening your influence, and creating more positive outcomes for your clients.

What you gain is a framework for achieving the following to facilitate effective and efficient dispute resolution:

  • Setting the Right Emotional Tone
  • Fostering Empowerment vs. Promoting Defensiveness
  • Framing the Issues for ‘Both-Gain’ Outcomes
  • The Use of Empathy in Validating Perspectives, not Positions
  • Alternatives to the Typical Legal Jargon
  • Promoting Ownership and Accountability


Harold Coleman, Jr., Esq.