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California mediators in commercial disputes focus their interest on aiding the lawyers and specifically the clients they imbue while in their field of study. Listening skills are important for any individual in this position.

Active listening requires a listener to provide immediate feedback on what he or she hears to the speaker, by way of either paraphrasing or repeating what they have said in the response they provide. The ultimate goal of active listening is to make sure the listener heard what the speaker spoke and has processed both views – speaker and listener. It shows respect and sincerity and often reduces misunderstandings, improves personal relationships, and strengthens cooperation.

This skill is of utmost importance in mediation. The facilitator must consider both parties judgment and decisions and help to formulate a mutual agreement that will resolve the case. They must gain the trust of both parties to make the environment more relaxed so they will trust in his or her judgment and produce a settlement that is acceptable by both parties as well.

Communication between the clients and their attorneys is essential to show that the mediator and their company are competent enough to handle the dispute in a professional and timely manner.

Active listening will reduce misunderstandings. It will also improve the relationship between the mediators, the clients and relevant attorneys by showing them that the mediator is helpful and trustworthy. With the cooperation of both parties in evaluating how the case will conclude and what charges may incur if the case is prolonged, the mediation will come to an agreeable settlement.

Drawing on an engineering background, thirty five years as an advocate in commercial, intellectual property and e-discovery disputes, twenty years serving as an arbitrator, 200+ mediations and 400+ hours of formal ADR training, Greg is “all in” in assisting parties in the speedy and economic resolution of disputes whether as a negotiation or settlement counselor, a mediator or an arbitrator. While Greg is available for mediation and arbitration of various disputes, his focus remains on complex commercial and intellectual property matters including e-discovery disputes. Greg can be reached at greg.wood@agencydr.com