Mediation is a process by which a neutral outsider, the “mediator,” helps the opposing parties resolve their dispute by agreement as opposed to a decision made by a judge, jury, or arbitrator. In most mediations, the parties and the mediator will assemble in a conference room and present their sides of the story. After the “general session” is over and the parties have said their peace, the mediator usually separates the parties into separate rooms and goes back and forth delivering offers and counteroffers. But mediators are much more than glorified messengers. They must be able to read the room, deal with emotional combatants, and keep the negotiations on track; all while respecting the parties’ right to make decisions for themselves. Greg Shelton is certified to conduct civil court mediations in North Carolina and South Carolina and enjoys the opportunity to work with the parties and their attorneys in negotiating settlements.