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5 Tips for Successful Mediation

Bankruptcy issues

Mediation, like arbitration, is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is ideal for most non-criminal cases, including those involving contracts, divorce, employment, and leases. A successful mediation ends with both parties coming to a settlement or mutually satisfactory resolution to their dispute.

So, what is the secret to keeping your mediation amicable and productive? Here are five tips to help you take full advantage of mediation services and come to a successful conclusion to your legal dispute.

  1. Essential personnel must participate
    This means that the decision makers must be present for mediation services. Who are the decision makers? When the parties are individuals, each person is the primary decision maker. Easy enough. But what about when the disputing entities are businesses? The people who should participate in mediation in this case would be whoever has the power to accept an offer of resolution. Another essential person is the mediator who facilitates the process. Make sure you hire a neutral and experienced mediator.
  2. Bring important documents with you
    In order to effectively work through differences of opinion in a dispute, hard evidence is invaluable. That is why any relevant documentation must be physically present at the mediation session.
  3. Do not focus only on who is right
    Of course both parties believe that their position is the right one. In mediation, however, the question is not ?Who is right?? but rather ?How can we compromise?? This is not a fight. In a fight, the goal is to win. In mediation, the goal is to find a solution.
  4. Be respectful
    Mediation is over when an agreement is made. A party who feels offended will not be as inclined to give consent to a particular solution. Feelings of disrespect can be distracting, which ends up being counterproductive to the mediation process.
  5. Be persuasive
    You must be persuasive regarding the merits of your position in a dispute. You must also be persuasive when arguing for the mutual benefits of a potential deal or solution.

Mediation is generally considered an effective alternative to litigation. Rather than attend court, disputing parties can come to a mutual decision on their own terms.

Do you have any additional advice regarding mediation and alternative dispute resolution? Feel free to post in the comments section below.

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