Generally, you must enter into your mediation with the mindset that settlement is a desirable option. Your lawyer serves as your advocate and he/she will be invested in the strengths of your position. A mediator approaches the mediation session as a neutral, with no pre-conceived notions or biases. A good mediator will identify both the strengths and weaknesses of your case and of your opponent’s case, and will diplomatically point out the good and bad to both parties.
You do not have to accept the legitimacy or validity of your opponent’s argument but you need to recognize that the cost, time and uncertainty of protracted litigation is less desirable than a settlement. In colloquial terms, you don’t want to win the battle but lose the war.
As a mediator, my goal is to help both sides reach an agreement, not to convince one side or the other about the merits of a particular argument.