In recent years, judges have been referring more and more cases for mediation. But why wait until a judge directs you toward a mediator? Instead, think “mediation before litigation“. The list of advantages of mediating first is long, and includes:
Mediation provides positive and long lasting solutions because people involved in and affected by the conflict are those creating the solutions. They have buy-in and commitment to the solution they work together to create.
All parties to the mediation process agree to strict confidentiality, which creates the safe place necessary for honesty and lasting solutions.
Mediators don’t take sides, advocate, represent or make decisions for any of the people at the table. Mediators are the independent, objective, neutral third parties you call when you’re caught in conflict.
Fees charged by mediators are generally much less than those charged by attorneys. In addition, mediation typically takes less time than litigation, so expenses don’t get out of hand with seemingly endless legal processes.
Engaged, genuine conversations
Parties are given the opportunity to discuss real issues.Life doesn’t come in “one-size-fits-all”, and neither do lasting resolutions.
Mediation focuses on problem solving, expectations, communication, and other elements necessary to truly resolve conflict. As a result, attitudes and behaviors are changed.
Positive learning experience
The parties to mediation can learn effective skills for resolving conflicts which may arise in the future, reducing the need for third party participation.
More satisfying outcomes
Mediation continues to prove much more satisfying than the traditional processes of complaint resolution through the courts.
Common Misconceptions and Questions About Mediation
Although mediation has been practiced for hundreds of years, many people still misunderstand the nature of the practice. Here are just a few of the most common misperceptions and responses to them:
“I’ll be compelled to apologize or admit wrondoing.”
No. Mediation is a voluntary process. No one is required to say or do anything they don’t choose.
“It won’t do any good. The person is unreasonable and unpleasant.”
Generally not true. In an environment facilitated by a professional mediator, the parties all behave in a much more constructive manner.
“Mediation will just give them more time to complain and verbally attack.”
No. Professional mediators are trained and responsible for managing a safe environment.
“If I speak freely and honestly, my words will be misconstrued or used against me in a legal proceeding.”
No. The content of a mediation session is protected as confidential and cannot be introduced in court.
“What is my incentive to participate in mediation? ”
Mediation is a widely accepted alternative to traditional adversarial conflict resolution processes. When parties sit down to mediate, they are able to discuss real issues and agree to sustainable solutions.
“How can conflict be seen as constructive?”
With a professional mediator in charge of the process, creative ideas are produced, lasting resolutions are agreed to, and people take personal responsibilty for the outcomes.