It used to be that a mediator was a superstar for picking up the phone before the mediation to have a "pre mediation conference" or after the session to follow up. These days, these steps are expected by your customers when they are paying for your services. OH, and most of the time they don't expect to pay extra for these value added services.
If you aren't doing these things, consider starting the practice. Let's look at each of these contacts, and what are the best practices for each. I expect to get feedback so we can all benefit as I know most if not all of you already to this.
Pre mediation call
It can be joint or separate. The issues can be whatever you think appropriate. Here are some favorites: are all decision makers going to be present, are there any special needs for the participants, is there a preference for or against joint session, are there any hard, time stops for planes or trains or travel? in complex cases or multi party cases, it is helpful to work out scheduling and perhaps staggering start times for some parties or groups of parties.
Post mediation follow up
Set this up before the session ends. Tell them you will be following up. Help create a discovery plan or action plan, to gather additional info as necessary, and always set a firm date for follow up. Get emails!
The parties REALLY APPRECIATE these steps. This is how professional mediators do business.
Ok, this is a skeletal outline only. Fill it in, and let's hear about how these pre and post mediation contacts paid dividends!