The mediator will not take sides or judge the parties. This is fundamental to all parties trusting the process and feeling that they are on an equal footing with each other in terms of the mediation process.
Parties may speak about emotional and personal issues and therefore must be certain that no topic discussed will be disclosed outside of the process. Parties must sign a confidentiality agreement before the mediation begins, which also extends the principle of confidentiality to the mediator and also the sponsor, should parties agree for them to see the written agreement. Employers may,
however, be in the situation that they receive no feedback from the mediator of what was discussed during mediation, or the result.
The parties must be willing to take part. If a party is forced to be involved, they are less likely to engage fully and this will stunt the effectiveness of the process.
Any agreement reached is formulated by the parties themselves and not imposed by the mediator.