More and more legal issues are being settled without anyone setting one foot in a courtroom. For example, betwen 95 and 96% of all personal inury cases are settled out of court. If you haveandnbsp;any kind of dispute with a private citizen or company, you want want to consider mediattion. There are also cases where a judge orders the parties involved in a dispute in to mediation as a way to camly come to a solution to a dispute. Often involving aandnbsp;effective neutral mediator can make a big difference on resolving conflicts.
Tips for a Successful Mediation
- Define your goals. Your main goal is for the mediation to result in the most favorable resolution for your client but what does that mean exactly? How will you know you have succeeded? In most mediations, neither side gets everything they want. Both sides have to compromise at least a little. Identify your dream outcome but also decide what other resolutions will be acceptable.
- Do your homework before the mediation begins. It can be helpful to draft a list of the issues and what your arguments will be. The more specific you can be with your claims and the more you can back your position up with facts, figures, photos or any other evidence, the better. The more prepared you are to make your case based ob facts and not emotion, the more you are likely to sway the effective neutral mediator who has been assigned to deal with your dispute. Facts always trump emotions in mediation.
- Try to see the case from the other side. The more you can see the other side’s point of view, the better you will be able to find a compromise with them. Knowing what is motivating the other side can help you craft your resonse and get a better outcome for your side. Like with most things in life, there are more shades of gray than blacks and whites. Any experienced mediator will tell you that the ability to see things from the other side’s perscpective can really help in these situations.
- Start with the small things. When dealing with complicated cases that have multiple issues that need to be resolved, you should not start with the biggest issue you are facing. Start with the easier things to resolve. Oneandnbsp;effective neutral mediator once said that when dealing with negotiating contracts with uniions and various companies, he started with very simple things such as coffee. He would offer it to everyone and once they all took some, he would make a comment liks, “Well, we all like coffee, that is one thing we have in common.” He said his strategy was to build connections between the two sides over the smaller issues so that when they worked on bigger ones, some bonding between the two sides had already taken place.
- Be creative. Unless you are willing to be creative and consider more options than what are initially on the table, your meidation will be a total failure. If you enter into the mediation process thinking there might be a solution you have not considered, you are more likely to find success in the mediation process.
- Leave the confrontational language at home. When you are dealing with any kind of mediation be it personal bankruptcy mediation or a dispute involving employment discrimination, you can choose words and body language that conveys confrontation or that invites compromise. Many disputes have a lot of emotion tied to them, when you are meeting with an effective neutral mediator and the other side, it is important to leave all of that someplace else. This will allow you to actually listen to the other side and permit them to listen to you.
Mediation can be used in a large number of cases. For employment disputes, one in three African Americans feel say they have been the victim of racial discrimination. About half say they have experienced this discrimination at either their place of work or when they have gone to vote. When dealing with these sensitive issues, the effective neutral mediator has to try to listen to both sides and come up with a fair decision. It is hard but possible to find resolutions to even hard cases like these.
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