Whether, people are in family mediation or employment mediation or commercial mediation, they have probably seen trust erode. All the reassuring words in the world cannot rebuild trust.  Maybe you don't need to.  Maybe the relationship is over and you are able to walk away from that particular burning bridge.

However, if you have an ongoing relationship (co-parenting / employment / commercial arrangements, etc.) then you will need to address the loss or deterioration of trust. If we accept that words are not enough to rebuild that bridge - how do you even start?

Rebuilding trust is a process and it may take months or years. The first steps to rebuilding trust can be taken in the mediation itself.  A key way for people to address the loss of trust in mediation is through transparency. Disclosure of information relevant to the mediation can create the conditions in which trust can start to be rebuilt.  This can start to challenge the narrative that the untrustworthy other side is hiding something. Transparency is a beginning but it can be a powerful first step. 


Sala Sihombing originally qualified as a solicitor in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. After 14 years in banking, she has shifted gears, recently completing a Masters in Law from the Straus Institute at the Pepperdine University School of Law.