THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
Two of the alternative choices in managing conflict are ‘interest based’ negotiation, and mediation. Many corporate, commercial, property and estate disputes stand a very good chance of being successfully mediated by working with trained mediators who facilitate discussion using the principles of ‘interest based’ negotiation. Mediation offers the following advantages.
An Opportunity to Deal with Clients’ Real Interests. Unlike the law, mediation deals with clients’ real interests and does not concern itself with who is right and who is wrong. By identifying the issues in dispute and by seeking to satisfy the parties’ real needs, it does not matter who is right and who is wrong. Whereas litigation declares winners and losers, mediation seeks ‘win/win’ solutions for everyone.
An attempt at early resolution of conflict. Litigation takes time and our courts are always affected by some degree of backlog.
The freedom to custom design a conflict resolution process. Unlike the law, mediation is fluid and adaptable. Every time mediation occurs, the way in which it proceeds can be varied to meet the specific needs of the parties. The mediator works with the parties to craft a process that suits them.
Cost savings. By that I mean not only the legal fees and disbursements which are charged to take a case from claim to trial or to appeal, but also the unmeasureable costs which litigation imposes on parties such as fear, worry, and inability to manage family and business relationships. All of these savings go to the ‘bottom line’.
Efficiency. Mediation generally can be scheduled and completed quickly. Provided that parties in conflict are serious about resolving their disputes, mediation, being a problem solving exercise, can produce more rapid results.
An Opportunity to Repair and Preserve Relationships. If repairing a damaged relationship, and preserving a positive relationship are important considerations, mediation allows for parties to express their concerns in a non-threatening environment without the adversarial positioning that is part and parcel of the litigation process.
A Chance to Look forward, not backward. Mediation assists parties in dispute not merely to resolve their outstanding conflicts, but also to create a point-by-point roadmap which allows them to successfully communicate and deal with any future, unexpected challenges to that business or personal relationship.
Commitment to the Process and to the Results. Mediation by its very nature, encourages the parties to craft their own resolution process and their own solutions. By doing so, the parties commit themselves to the agreements they make simply because those agreements are theirs, and are not imposed upon them by someone else.