Mediation is a process where parties are brought together by a trained neutral to facilitate productive discussion. The parties are able to be humane to each other instead of appearing like warriors championing a cause. Both sides are able to see problems as a whole without fear of appearing weak. Mediation starts with the meeting.
Talking is encouraged and allowed. Quiet people are able to speak. Talkative people are able to be quiet. Issues are broken down so that isolating issues seem less complex making the process collaborative rather than confrontational. The parties, through meaningful dialogue, are able to engage in creative problem solving.
Effective mediation allows the parties to take stock, appreciate what the issues really are, understand ways of seeing the problems and communicate with each other. In this manner, the parties themselves decide the outcome instead of conceding all control to the courts and jurors. The parties decide the solution to their problems, retain control of the dispute and come to their own win-win resolution.