I often hear people tell me that Mediation is not right for them, to what I always answer: “What are you trying to accomplish that cannot be done in Mediation?
It is true that there are some exceptions to this rule where mediation may not be appropriate like in cases of domestic violence, for example.
The aim of mediation is to assist parties in resolving their disputes amicably through a negotiated settlement, without going to court. One of the motivations behind this is that the courts are over-flowing with cases as numerous disputes are brought before the courts daily and it can be months before your matter can be heard. Secondly, proceedings through the courts involve asking a judge to deliver a judgment on the dispute. Mediation removes this risk as the parties try to find a solution.
In facilitating discussion between the parties, the main objective of mediation is to assists the parties in identifying issues, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of compromise and generating options in an effort to resolve the dispute and ultimately preserve the relationship between the parties and promote healing, something which is not possible through the adversarial nature of our court system.
That being said, it is true that not all mediation are successful and can sometimes bring out emotions that are not always manageable at the time. When mediation is unsuccessful because of emotional turmoil it is not a logic outcome to move to litigation. Instead, parties ought to be encouraged to seek emotional support and coaching in moving forward and then return to mediation when emotions have been made sense of. You’ll be surprised what can be achieved with a clear head.
So if you are facing doubts about your mediation ask yourself first:
Why has mediation failed? Then,
- Write down each person’s argument.
- Find out what each person wants.
- Negotiate or reason with the other side until you reach an agreement.
Are you trying to make a point or are you trying to make a difference?
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