Mediation is a dispute resolution process that aims to bring parties together to work toward mutually acceptable solutions rather than fighting it out in court where a judge or jury makes the decision. Many courts and government agencies use mediation as a part of their conflict resolution process, and it’s also used by private individuals and corporations.
A mediator is a neutral person who helps parties in a dispute reach a negotiated settlement. Mediators are specially trained in working with difficult situations. Mediation is a process that requires the participants to work toward a resolution, which may take time and effort for all involved. It also requires all parties to be willing to listen to one another and discuss the issues in a way that allows for compromises to be made.
The first step in the mediation process is for all parties to agree to meet with a mediator. This can be done in a face-to-face meeting or over the phone. The mediator will explain the process and the different options available for resolving the dispute. It’s important for the mediator to have an understanding of all aspects of the dispute to facilitate a fair process for everyone.
After the mediator has discussed the mediation process, each party will be able to make an opening statement about their position in the conflict. The mediator will then ask questions to help the parties understand each other’s positions. Mediators often use open-ended questions, repeat back key points and summarize information to clarify communications.
The mediator will also try to identify the issues that are most and least important in the dispute, as well as any underlying concerns in the case. This will help the mediator determine which issues can be resolved during mediation and which will need to be settled in a separate process, such as arbitration.
During the mediation, the mediator will help each participant understand their own needs and interests in the dispute to help them find common ground. The mediator will help them to identify possible solutions to their dispute and brainstorm with the participants about what they could do differently in the future to avoid a conflict.
The mediator will also help each participant understand that a trial can be stressful and expensive, and it’s important for the mediator to let the participants know what the consequences of going to trial could be. For example, the litigation can be time consuming and can take people away from their families, jobs and daily activities for weeks on end. In addition, the stress of a legal battle can impact finances, job performance, mental health, relationships and overall wellbeing. Mediation is an alternative to litigation that can be less time consuming and costly and can help preserve relationships. This can be especially beneficial for family disputes. Getting back to normal life after a divorce or workplace conflict can be very hard, but the goal of mediation is to ensure that each party leaves the mediation with an agreed solution that’s fair for both sides.