A conciliatory procedure called mediation can be very helpful in resolving a conflict. Many civil cases end up in mediation before trial as a result of court rule or by agreement of the parties. The task of mediation is to establish a dialogue between the parties, to move from the past to the future, from accusations to desires, and finally resolve a dispute and reach an agreement.
Mediation is a peaceful dispute resolution method where the parties involved have leading roles. To help you successfully resolve disputes using mediation, check out our top 10 tips.
- Get prepared in advance. The proper preparation process is key - do not neglect pre-mediation meetings.
- Calculation. Work out the costs for you and your opponent according to two scenarios: the best scenario (all your declared costs, including the lawsuit you recover) and the worst scenario (you get nothing + pay all your opponent's declared costs).
- Back to reality. Appreciate the benefits of your case, and create the most likely outcome for yourself, which is likely to be somewhere in between best and worst-case scenarios. This analysis will help you determine the most comfortable range for you for a technical strategy on how to resolve a dispute using mediation.
- Think out of the box. What result do you expect to achieve from mediation? Since litigation often requires incurring huge costs, the parties to mediation have flexibility, namely, they have a wider range of solutions to resolve a commercial dispute that simply cannot be ordered by the court. For example, the parties could enter into a settlement agreement that would govern their future relationship.
- Be proactive. Consider if there is any maneuver that will encourage the other side to settle without breaking the bank. Apologies can be the hardest words to say, but in turn, it's the cheapest way! You should always have trump cards with you that you are ready to use in the negotiation process. Likewise, are there positions of the other side that are not negotiable? Know where your red lines are.
- Choose the proper specialist. A mediator is a neutral intermediary needed to complete a transaction. He/she has to do their best to make the process less stressful. Build a relationship with the mediator prior to mediation and maintain good communication with him throughout. Using humor during the procedure will bring a positive note and will facilitate the whole process. However, it may happen that the situation is reaching a dead-end - what are you going to do? Confusion has occurred - try meeting with your solicitor to break the impasse.
- Present yourself. Think carefully if you need to make an introductory statement to present your side of the story, especially if the controversy touches you personally. It can also give you a chance to undermine your opponent's confidence in his cause and eliminate any obvious weaknesses in your own - before your opponent does. However, keep in mind that such a presentation can backfire for the leading parties to gain a foothold and resolve the conflict before it even starts, or the mediator may not be sufficiently informed that the relationship has broken down to the point that a unification of the parties could disrupt any deal.
- Do not hurry. Be prepared for a long day - it can take a long time for the parties to consider each other's arguments. However, setting a deadline for reaching a final agreement can help focus attention on smaller details.
- Flexible approach. Have your plan at hand, but be prepared to go with the flow to achieve the desired result. Finally, don't be afraid to be flexible and creative to bring your mediation process a success.
IQ Decision UK specialists have extensive experience in resolving disputes through mediation in different jurisdictions. We can help you resolve your dispute and find a solution to the problem that is acceptable to all parties.