Mediation is an excellent alternative to court, where a judge will impose a decision on an issue involving both parties. There are many reasons why mediation is a smart choice, and most likely more beneficial than a court ruling. Here we outline just five:
Speed: The mediation process takes much less time than a court hearing. Most often, when parties are working towards resolution in a mediation setting moving toward a mutual solution can take much less time than waiting for and attending a court hearing and judgement. Mediators are available within 48 hours usually. Mediations can take from 3 days to 3 weeks to 3 months depending on the number of parties and the complexities. All the same documents and information can be exchanged prior to the joint session of mediation. There is also less stress involved due to a more informal and less intimidating environment than court.
Empowerment: Parties are empowered to decide for themselves whether and how they would like to resolve a situation. This would include where mediation is held, who is involved, when it takes place and how it is to be carried out. Effective conflict resolution supports a participants creative thinking towards a solution for the situation and it is the position of the mediator to assist them in doing this. After having each of their positions heard and feeling more understood, all parties can then work more collaboratively towards an effective resolution which they can accept and own based on the best legal and expert advice necessary to make an informed decision.
Validation: In hearing and being heard in the mediation forum, parties gain the understanding of the other parties point of view, and an enhanced opportunity to be heard and understood themselves. Whether we are CEO’s or neighbours we all have our reasons and need others to be clear about our own positions. Mediation gives everyone that opportunity.
Relationships: Mediation builds not burns bridges. When a dispute involves people who need to remain on good terms, for example co-parents, companies who may do business with each other or need to avoid bad press, mediation is a non-adversarial process that focuses on finding workable solutions in a joint problem solving environment, where the mediator facilitating the process assists in creating conditions which can make it happen. With this type of environment in place there is a much higher chance of a satisfactory outcome for all parties which can leave the way for future collaboration and the restoration of damaged relationships.
Privacy: The entire mediation process is confidential, from your communication with the mediator through to the mediation meetings and outcomes unless otherwise agreed or the law gets involved. This privacy helps to facilitate and encourage open and honest communication and allow people and business managers and businesses to maintain their reputation with those whom it matters most.
Mediation works not only because it focuses the parties on their own interests and agendas, in a safe and confidential environment but also because it provides the opportunity for parties to consider consequences for others and other move beyond disputes efficiently, learn from the experience and chart their own future without disruption. In general, when voluntary agreements are entered into in this context all parties are more likely to adhere to and fulfil their commitments. Making mediation a very smart choice.