We will not argue that Mediation can solve all conflicts. We will also not going to prove that it is always the most appropriate way of dealing with them. What are we going to show, is that in every conflict, parties involved in a dispute should take mediation into consideration as a serious alternative to court process, arbitration or any other possible way of dealing with the problem.
The list of presented reasons is not exhaustive and is restricted only to main advantages of mediation.
So why should we choose mediation?
Because of relations
Court verdicts distinguish parties of a dispute. After issuing a judgment by court we have got a winner on one side and a looser on the other side. This builds a psychological barrier between the parties. Moreover the real conflict often remains unsolved as only compensation of loss is adjudged without consideration of needs and interest of the other party. This can result in severe consequences especially in cases regarding family issues (divorce, division of assets, children custody). Court reality is black-and-white and court judgment always makes one party frustrated and discouraged to maintain further relations.
Mediation offers a win-win solution. It awakes in the parties awareness of the underlying issues. The mediator is responsible to bring the parties of a dispute to a solution which satisfies their interests and needs by working out a consensus. As parties make arrangements on their own, they are more committed in implementing them and obey established rules in future relations.
Because of business
Mediation is a procedure which may benefit the business. Parties which worked out a consensus are more willing to maintain further relations. Moreover mutual trust is maintained. It may be even bigger than before the dispute as parties are more likely to perceive their business partners as reasonable and responsible people, with whom they can go through conflicts and resolve the problems in a proper manner, without court.
Because of emotions
Mediation resolves conflicts not only by taking into consideration problems arising from division of resources such as assets, estate, time but tries to go much deeper and deal with emotional misunderstandings. Mediation is successful when the agreement between parties appeases not only their material but, more importantly, their emotional needs. This guarantees a stability of a settlement.
Because of the Image
One of the main rules of mediation is confidentiality. It guarantees that nothing what is being said will be used outside the room where mediation is being held. This rule makes mediation very attractive in particular for companies. It allows the parties to keep in secret crucial information about their firms, management, assets, and contracts. It also allows to resolve conflict on the line company-client without publicity, what often deteriorates the image of the company and can have further going consequences in its financial outcome.
Because of comfort of making our own decision
Mediation allows parties to influence their actual state. In mediation parties decide on their own how the problem will be solved and what rules will govern their relations in future. This is much more comfortable situation in comparison with a court procedure in which decision is made by a stranger (judge) who does not always have the full view of the problem. This makes mediation much less stressful.
Last but not the least because of money
In most of the Europeans countries mediation is procedure faster than one instance court trial (not to mention appeals) and less expensive. Most often parties of a dispute share the expenses of mediation in half what makes it fairer. Of course during mediation other settlements may be agreed.
by Maciej Zaleski