A key point in the balanced approach, however, is that writing agreements is not the goal ~f medi~tion, nor is it a measure of the mediator’s success. Knowing how to assist in agreeing_ t? disagree or closing a session without an agreement is as important as agree ment wnting. Seasoned mediators recognize that not all mediations end in settlement and lack of settlement does not indicate a failed mediation. Chapter 10 presents the skills of agreement writing and closure.
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~nee the agreement is signed, the disputants reach an insurmountable deadlock, or the ~ession must end for some other reason, the mediator moves to closure. In sessions ending in agreement, the mediator will praise the disputants for their work, acquire signatures on the agreement form, make all parties a copy of the written agreement (if there is one), and inform the parties of any post-mediation actions. In sessions that do not result in settlement the medi ator ‘:ill summar~ze any enhanced understanding or points of commonality for th~ parties or explain other opt10ns the disputants can take. Often the closure of a mediation that does not end in agreement starts a new topic of what the next steps are in moving forward from there.
HOW D~ES an on~in~ mediation environment affect the choices a mediator may make in structunng a med1at10n? What would be fundamentally different in the online context from ~ face-to~face m_ediation? Are there some types of mediation that would be inappropriate rn an onlrne environment?