These first impressions are based on, and often are accurate yet done subconsciously, nonverbal communication cues and elements. Consider:
Did you shake hands of both of the parties when you first met them?
Did you smile?
How were you dressed?
How did you arrange the room?
Was your seat closer to one party?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself how the mediation session begins ever before it 'begins'. I think these nonverbal communication cues and elements, specifically during the initial encounter of the parties are critical to the rest of the session. How important do I think this is? I am doing my PhD research on it! (see a three minute video and/or Prezi on my research HERE).
Interested in reading more about first impressions and thin slice methodology?
I invite you to read my latest article at PsychologyToday.com [HERE]. Below is a snippet:
Thin slice methodology is an important term to understand when it comes to wanting to be effective communicators, especially with nonverbal cues and elements. Firstly, let me be clear that the term 'thin slice' has nothing to do with the width of a slice of pizza!
Read the rest [HERE].