First of all, it is important to truly understand what mediation is and how it can help to resolve conflicts. Mediation is a process in which a third neutral party called a mediator steps in to help assess the conflict and make suggestions as to how to resolve the conflict in question. In order to do this, the mediator must meet with both of the parties involved and determine through talking with them what the possible solutions to their conflict can be.
In a serious conflict that may either need to be mediated or taken to court, each party has an optimal solution to the conflict in mind. Through mediation, the parties will most likely not receive their optimal solution, but a fair compromise instead. In order to determine whether or not mediation is right for your specific dispute, there are some things that you should consider, namely:
- Only civil cases can be mediated—this means that if the dispute in question is of criminal origin it can’t be mediated, but other issues can such as: small claims, divorces, child custody, business disputes, landlord/tenant disputes, and contract disputes.
- If you feel that the other party involved should be found guilty or have to admit blame, then mediation isn’t right for you.
- What are your odds of winning a lawsuit?
- What is the least you would be willing to accept, or what is your bottom line?
- If money isn’t the only remedy that you would accept, what other solutions do you have in mind?
- How much time, money, and energy are you willing to put into the case in order to obtain the outcome you desire? (Rueters)
Typically, mediation is a lot cheaper, less time-consuming and requires less energy than a court case. Also, the outcomes of cases that are mediated have the ability to have more creative solutions to the issues at hand and because of this usually leave the parties feeling more satisfied with the resolution of their cases. In other words, yes, if you are going to use mediation as an avenue with which to resolve your conflict, then you are going to have to compromise. However, compromising isn’t a bad way to go, it helps maintain relationships and helps each of the parties involved to see things from the other party’s perspective. (Eilerman)
Compromising and mediation go hand in hand and help to reduce the cost, time, and energy involved in conflict resolution. They also let the parties involved in the conflict come up with their own ways of resolving the conflict and typically see better results in the satisfaction and future relationships with the parties involved in the conflict. Ultimately, though, whether or not you decide that mediation and/or compromise is the right avenue for you to go down to resolve your conflict is your decision. For more information about mediation and compromise go to www.camsmediation.com.
- Eilerman, Dale. “Agree to Disagree – The Use of Compromise in Conflict Management.” Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc, Oct. 2006. Web. 09 Sept. 2015.
- Reuters, Thomson. “Common Mediation Questions – FindLaw.”Findlaw. Thomson Reuters, 2015. Web. 09 Sept. 2015.
- Reuters, Thomson. “Lawsuit Mediation: Trying to Compromise Before Starting a Lawsuit.”Adr.findlaw.com. Thomson Reuters, 2015. Web. 9 Sept. 2015.