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Business mediation resolves the conflict by focusing on interests. It can be applied in any situation where two or more parties are in conflict regarding some aspect of their business or of their personal lives. The mediation process helps the parties focus on what their real concerns and issues are and facilitates the reaching of a settlement that all are prepared to agree.
How does business mediation work?
The mediation begins with both parties agreeing to mediate. They will then need to agree on a venue for the mediation and who should be appointed as mediator.
The mediator helps the parties to look at their situation objectively and from different viewpoints. He or she will aim to carefully balance the parties' needs to air their views and outline the issues they have, with the need to move forward and find a solution that is practical and acceptable to both or all of them.
What does the mediator do?
The mediator finds ways of bringing the parties together, identifying common aims and goals and translating them into a practical, sensible compromise.
Equally important is what the mediator does not do:
- he does not make judgments or rulings;
- he does not find fault or blame;
- he does not express opinions on who is right or wrong.
When do you mediate?
- When there are difficulties in an existing relationship and you want to save the relationship before it breaks down completely
- When the relationship has broken down and you want to find a practical solution
- When there are already Court proceedings and you want to find a way of resolving matters without the delay, costs and uncertainty which usually accompany Court proceedings
- Any time
What are the advantages of mediation in resolving business disputes?
- It is quick; subject to availability, we can usually arrange mediation within a matter of days
- It is much less expensive than Court proceedings
- The parties control their own agenda
- The parties can explore other issues and solutions beyond the immediate cause of the problem
- It brings certainty and allows you to get back to running your business without the distractions of a drawn-out dispute
- It is completely confidential
What issues would you mediate?
Almost any dispute is suitable for mediation, provided the parties are willing to try.
The Business mediation process:
The mediation venue will have one room where everyone can meet and also a separate room for each party to use.
Most mediation starts with a meeting with everyone in the same room. The mediator will ask everyone to agree to some basic rules known as the ground rules.
Each person will then have the opportunity to explain to the mediator in a brief statement what their position is.
At an appropriate time, the mediator will ask each party to move to their separate rooms and will hold private meetings with each party. This gives the mediator the opportunity to understand the parties' concerns, so that the mediator can explore possible solutions in confidence.
If a solution is reached, a document is drawn up and signed by both parties. This agreement will be legally binding. If no solution is reached, everything said at the mediation remains confidential.