Legal disputes are never pleasant, but you can make the process less stressful through the use of mediation. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions about legal mediation, which lead them to avoid it. By addressing these misconceptions, you can learn the truth about mediation.
1. The mediator will decide who is right and who is wrong. The role of a mediator is not to act as a judge, declaring one party right and the other party wrong. It is the mediator’s job to facilitate conversation and decision-making so that a mutually beneficial solution can be found.
2. Mediation is only used for legal disputes. Just as there are many different types of disputes—both legal and non-legal—there are many applications for mediation. Mediation is founded on the principles of negotiation and conversation, so it can be used in nearly any kind of conflict.
3. Mediation doesn’t work. According to recent studies, as many as 90% of cases that go through the process of mediation actually result in an agreement. Even if you choose to use mediation, you still have the power to make your own decisions—the mediator is just there to make sure negotiations go smoothly.
4. Mediation isn’t worth the effort. You may be surprised to find that most parties, when faced with the option of hiring a mediator, choose to do so, and that mediation has been endorsed by many major organizations like the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the EEOC. Disputes can be difficult and stressful, so having someone to oversee the process is always a good thing.
No matter what kind of dispute you find yourself in, consider mediation as an option. Without a mediator, you may find yourself caught up in lengthy negotiations and heated arguments that do not end with a mutually beneficial solution. Having a mediator along will help to facilitate civil conversation and mutually beneficial negotiations.