Parties in mediation often are more knowledgeable than the mediator concerning how their needs and interests can best be met. Storytelling early in the mediation often serves as a powerful catalyst in encouraging the parties to engage in their own creative brainstorming. The following two scenarios depict creative settlements that actually have arisen in recent employment mediations involving the author of this article.
Telling these tales to parties and their attorneys in subsequent mediations has led to creative settlements. Using them also may help the mediator apply earlier creative solutions to the present problem. A mediator may be able to create inspiration in the parties based on the mediator’s own experiences.