So you have been invited to participate in a zoom mediation or arbitration, but you’re not sure how the software works or you are feeling uneasy about participating online. This guide covers how to participate in a Zoom Mediation.
Getting Started with Zoom Mediation
Whether you are a party, a lawyer or a witness your Zoom mediation will start with an invitation from the host. While the invitation may be customized, a default invite will look like this:
Join Zoom Meeting
https://ca01web.zoom.us/j/xxxxxxxxx?pwd=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMeeting ID: xxx 7625 xxxx
One tap mobile
Dial by your location
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 375 2970 Canada
+1 647 375 2971 Canada
+1 778 907 2071 Canada
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 690 7625 xxxxxxxx
Find your local number: https://ca01web.zoom.us/u/gdlvydW6Os
To get to your Zoom mediation, the best option is to click the link. While the invite will include the passcode, the link has the passcode embedded within it. All you need to do is click.
The first time you click a Zoom link, you will be prompted to download the Zoom software. Downloading the software is optional, but you will have a more seamless experience if you do download zoom. Once you download Zoom, you may need to click the link again.
Connecting to your Zoom Mediation
As Zoom connects to you may find yourself in a waiting room. Zoom will display a message letting you know that the host has been notified and you will need to be admitted to the meeting. Once you are admitted and a window will pop up with your video and ask you to join using video. Once you click Join, you will see the zoom meeting in progress. At this point you will be offered two options for audio:
- Join using computer audio
- Join using phone audio
Joining Using Computer Audio
This is the easiest option. Computer audio uses your computer’s microphone and speaker to connect to your zoom mediation. The downside is that the audio needs to go through your internet connection. If you don’t have a great internet connection, the audio is another source of demand on your connection and you may want to consider joining using phone audio.
Joining Using Phone Audio
When selecting this option Zoom will provide you a call in number, a meeting ID and a Participant ID. This option will connect your phone audio to your video. Once connected to the meeting this way, the experience will be just like you are connected via computer except the audio will be coming through your phone.
Unmuting Your Audio
Depending on how the host has set up your zoom mediation you may enter the meeting muted. When you are ready to speak you can either hold down the spacebar or click the unmute button at the bottom left of the zoom window or click the unmute button at the bottom left of the zoom window.
It is best for both your privacy and the level of noise mediation to mute your audio when you’re not speaking. In my mediations, I often help out participants by muting them when they forget. If you are muted by the host, don’t worry you can always unmute yourself.
Switching to Phone Audio & Other Audio Settings
Clicking the up arrow next to the microphone will reveal the audio menu. From here you can click “Switch to Phone Audio…” which will bring up the phone contact information along with meeting ID and a participant ID.
You may also adjust your audio settings. Speaker allows you to pick where the sound comes out. If you are having audio problems ensure the correct device is selected. I would recommend you check the same boxes that I have checked off below.
Stopping Your Video
Life happens. While it would be great if you could participate in the Zoom mediation with your video on the whole time, there will be times when you should shut your video off. Next to the mute/unmute button is the Stop Video button. If you need a break from the camera or if your internet speed just can’t support video the stop video button will leave you connected to the mediation with your camera off.
Who Can I Chat With?
In the main room of the mediation you can usually chat with anyone else in the room. When you are in breakout rooms you can only chat with people in that room. You may choose to message everyone in the room or send a message privately. When sending a message privately (privately) is displayed next to the person’s name. Both private and public chats occur in the same box and if you happen to share your Zoom screen, they will be visible.
Some mediators will disable the chat function for some mediations.
How Do I Share My Screen?
During a mediation you may want to share a draft MOS or review evidence with other participants. Clicking the Share Screen button will bring up a window with your screens and open windows. If you share screen, the other participants will see whatever is on your screen. It is best to only share the window that contains the document for review.
If you are sharing video, there are two checkboxes at the bottom of the window “Share computer sound” and “Optimize Screen Share for Video Clip” that should be checked prior to clicking share.
Zoom Mediations: Breakout Rooms
At some point in the mediation the mediator will likely have you join a breakout room. For most mediations this will occur early in a mediation. A message on your screen will appear asking you to join a breakout room. When you click join breakout room a pop up like the one below will appear.
This is the slowest part of Zoom. It is not unusual for this message to be up for around 20 seconds. After the message will disappear and after a brief pause Zoom will bring you into the breakout room. I have heard from lots of new-to-Zoom participants who were worried that they had disconnected. There is no need to worry, even when Zoom is working perfectly, this process takes an uncomfortably long time.
Breakout rooms are private. Only the host can put people in to them. The host also has the ability to move from one breakout room to another. Using the chat function in a breakout room, only participants in the room when you send the message will see it in the chat.
Calling for Help in a Breakout Room
In person when you want your mediator in your room, you generally go find them in the hallway. In Zoom mediations you can’t wander the halls, but you can call the Mediator into your breakout room by clicking ask for help.
Leaving a Breakout Room
Clicking on Leave Room will give you three options:
Leave Meeting: This is like hanging up. The meeting will continue and if you want to come back, you will need to click the original link again.
Leave Breakout Room: This option will send you back to the main room. You will see a window appear letting you know you are going back to the main room and like above is will take 30 seconds or so to end up back in the main room.
Cancel: Because sometime you hit a button you didn’t mean to.
When Breakout Rooms Close
During your Zoom mediation the mediator may call everyone back to the main session by closing the breakout rooms. If this happens you will see a message that warns the breakout rooms are closing.
At this point it is up to you to click “Return to Main Session” or wait for the timer to reach zero and you will be transported back to the main session.
Troubleshooting Your Zoom Mediation
The main problem encounter during Zoom Mediations is that participants do not have enough internet bandwidth to send and receive the data required. Zoom may display a warning that your internet connection is unstable. The video below covers what to do if your internet isn’t fast enough.
Planing your Virtual Mediation
If you are considering a virtual workplace mediation, an employment mediation, a grievance mediation or even collective bargaining mediation Zoom is a great option. Wakely Mediation would be happy to facilitate your virtual mediation of workplace issues. Contact us for more information.
Questions and comments are always welcome! If you have questions or comments, let me know in the comment section.