Groups » Why Choose Mediation Over Other Dispute Resolving Methods

No matter which career you belong to, you will inevitably face conflicts at some point in time. Whether it is with your customers, business partners, or competitors, conflicts can mess up situations immensely. Some conflicts or disputes are so intense that you need to involve a third party to get it resolved.

Businesses have three options when they enter a conflict or dispute. These include:

1. Litigation: Litigations are complex, time-consuming, and expensive and you can never be certain of the outcome, since it is solely at the discretion of the judge to decide the outcome. This is the reason why most companies choose to avoid litigation.

2. Arbitration: Arbitration is conducted by a panel of arbitrators who act as judges to decide the outcome of the case. In most cases, three arbitrators are involved to resolve a dispute – one from either parties and a third one chosen by the prior two arbitrators.

3. Mediation: Like arbitration, mediation is an alternative method of resolving disputes, but it involves a single mediator. Instead of acting like a judge, the mediator facilitates discussion and helps the party resolve the dispute mutually by considering their interests, as well as the other party’s point of view.

Among many types of mediation, mediation for employers is one of the most common forms of this kind of alternative dispute resolution. Whether it is a workers’ compensation claim, termination of an employee, or harassment charges – disputes often surface within organizations.

Take the example of Anna, a radiographer, who alleged Dominic (the practice manager) of discrimination and favoritism. Anna believed that others working with her were given preference over her, and things worsened when one of Anna’s friends was not hired for a position even after she was interviewed. Management examined the situation and called upon mediation to clear the air. Finally, the misunderstandings were cleared and Anna apologized to Dominic.

Several organizations have chosen mediation over the other methods of dispute resolution and have benefitted immensely. If you have been facing a dispute of any kind, here is why you should also choose mediation.

Benefits of Choosing Mediation

The benefits of mediation are many; in fact, the success rate is amazing. A survey by Price Waterhouse and Cornell's PERC Institute on Conflict Resolution that involved more than 530 corporations in the Fortune 1000 category revealed 90 percent of companies involved in the survey viewed Alternative Dispute Resolution as a major cost-control technique.

Another survey shows that, of those who had chosen mediation, 100 percent of them were successful. More and more companies choose mediation since the relationships are never soured and the reputation (for both parties) is not tainted.

The major benefits of mediation include:

1. Private and Confidential method of Conflict Resolution

Mediation often takes place behind closed doors and involves only the parties in dispute. So there is no fear of losing face in front of other people. The mediator takes an impartial approach to resolve the disputes by addressing the conflict and negotiate a resolution that is beneficial to both parties. The details of the discussion are kept confidential and never disclosed to anyone outside of the room.

2. Cost Effective

Mediation is less complicated than litigation and takes lesser time to resolve disputes and conflicts. This is one reason why mediation is much cost-effective as compared to litigation. Mediators charge less than lawyers and guarantee quicker outcomes. Since the time taken is less, ideally a few days or weeks, you pay less as well. In fact, mediators often provide free-of-cost services for non-profit organization, or charge nominally.

3. Preserve Relationships

One of the major benefits of mediation is that it helps preserve relationships between employers, employees, business partners, and clients. Unlike litigations, where individual parties look out for faults, mediation facilitates resolution of dispute through discussions. There is winning or losing when it comes to mediation; the parties come to a mutual agreement which proves to be beneficial for both. Thus, important relationships can be saved and, in most cases, parties continue working in coalition with each other.

If you choose mediation to resolve the conflicts within your organization, you must first look for an experienced and reliable mediator or mediation service. Get references of successful mediators and interview them individually to get the best results. Some mediators are lawyers, so you can get legal advice along with high quality mediation services. Even though there are many advantages, there is one major challenge, and that is managing the conversation between the two parties who are against each other. It is necessary that you hire the best mediator to get the disputes resolved.

Although mediation is a relatively new method of resolving disputes, it has gained momentum over the years across the world, as well as in the U.S. Those who have chosen mediation over other forms of dispute resolution have been able to resolve conflicts without affecting their reputation and relationship with their peers. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective way of resolving conflicts, you should consider mediation over arbitration or litigation.

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