Gathering the most important information in the first meeting you have with either party.
Here is an example Intake form
Votes at Conference: 8
There is much information that you might want to collect at the first meetings:
When you are collecting this information
In order to mediate a conflict successfully, a clear analysis of the conflict is the most important factor. This analysis shows you the importance of data collection in the first meeting. But, how should mediators carry out a detailed analysis of the problem between the two parties?
In order to collect this information, the following questions are suggested as being asked of each party:
The practitioner should listen to all the details of the dispute as described by the clients. Usually, clients try to identify the problem and tell the practitioner the problem as they perceive it. Once the background of the problem was described by the client, the practitioner can ask complementary questions in order to establish the scope of the problem: why and how this problem occured, what is the claim of the client, what are the main counter arguments of the opposite party, what does the law and practice prescribe in this situation, how does the opposite party perceives the problem etc. The questions should be posed correctly in a simple and clear way in order to receive a complete picture of the problem. The practitioner should explain to the client that the information provided by him or her on the issue, shall be true and correct. This would enable the right strategy to be selected to achieve an effective solution to the problem. It shall also be highlighted that in case the issue reaches the court, judges will establish the facts and in case there is an incorrect infomation, this would work against the client. In addition, the practitioner shall review all the available documents and papers on the case in order to identify the problem correctly. Documents review may help to independently identify the problem, as the client most often presents facts and information from his or her perspective. All the details are important in this terms.Very often, clients tend to forget telling the practitioner the detail or showing him/her a reference or paper that might completely change the substance of the case. For example, when the land or any other property was purchased matters in property division disputes in cases of divorce. If the property was purchased before the marriage, then the other part does not receive a share if there is no child from this marriage. If the property was purchase after the marriage the wife shall be entitled to a share from this property even if there is no child in the family.
Intake questions to manage expectations and know what service to offer:
Questions to map the problem :
Intake forms: Used in a variety of countries, including Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Azerbaijan
Key Questions: Many countries report of a set of key questions that can be used to ascertain what the key issues are during the intake process
Problem Map: In Indonesia, a map of the problem is drawn which pictorially shows the parties to the conflict, the relationships and problems between them, actions that have been taken and third parties who have influence.
Example formats can be found in:
Mapping the problem is a key first step in mediation. A good example of a sequence of questions to be asked at intake:
Riskin, L. L. and N. A. Welsh (2008). "Is that all there is? "The Problem" in Court-Oriented Mediation." George Mason Law Review 15(4): 863-932.
H. Prein (2004)
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