September 12, 2007

Enhancing Neutrality Through Questions

Pamela Lehman and Norman Page, mediators and Cal State professors, write that about the use of appropriate questions in dispute resolution. They say that skilled questioning facilitates mediations by accomplishing two goals; it allows the content to come from the parties themselves, and it reduces the likelihood that the mediator will add unwarranted opinions and inappropriately influence the outcome. They discuss the five types of inquiries:
  • Open questions;
  • Closed questions;
  • Probing questions;
  • Leading questions; and
  • Loaded questions.
Their observations are equally valid for ombuds. (

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