Article Image
Why Dispute Mediation Is the Preferred Form of Conflict Resolution

Saturday, January, 15, 2011

Dispute mediation is a private service based on the principles of self-determination. Unlike taking an issue through the courts, it is kept confidential, and the process works equally well for parties of low-conflict and high-conflict.

Role of the Mediator

Each dispute case is assigned a mediator, also known as conflict resolution specialists, who are individuals who have been trained to facilitate agreements through conversation. The mediator aids parties in gleaning the information they require to make informed decisions. Mediators help both parties to weigh up their options and explore resources that will aid them in making decisions. They aid parties in capturing an agreement and putting it down in writing. Hence, they help to finalize all the paperwork involved in the process. Mediators are not afraid to enlist the help of experts when they are faced with a matter that they deem to be out of their depth. As a result, attorneys may or may not be required to participate. Regardless, dispute mediation is usually kept as informal as possible.

The Preferred Resolution

Dispute mediation is the preferred form of dispute resolution for a number of reasons. First, mediation typically costs less than other forms of resolution, and participants share the cost incurred by the whole process. Second, mediation is performed in less time than other dispute resolution methods. Furthermore, you determine the schedule - mediation takes place on your own time, and at your own pace. Third, dispute mediation is completely voluntary. The process does not impose anything on you and you are free to make the decisions that affect you.


Dispute mediation offers parties with a unique approach to problem solving, in which they can take advantage of choice and creativity during the dispute. The agreements reached are based upon the needs of both parties. This approach taken tends to lead to de-escalation as opposed to an escalation of conflict. This is another reason why dispute mediation is a preferred method for solving disputes. Furthermore, it is often a quicker form of conflict resolution in comparison to dispute resolution through the courts. Another benefit is that the process addresses the range of underlying issues that have led to the disagreement. Once all of the underlying issues have been discussed, parties then seek solutions. Mediation does not intend to intensify disputes or allow them to fester. Instead, dispute mediation aims to preserve and enhance the relationship between two parties. Furthermore, it sets guidelines for maintaining these relationships in the future, therefore preventing the requirement for further mediation.


Due to the flexible nature of dispute mediation, it can be used to settle the following disputes: consumer disputes, neighborhood disputes, housing disputes and contract disputes. It may not be the most suitable way in which to solve a dispute, and its effectiveness will depend on the presenting problem. Mediation is often the first port of call when it comes to dispute resolution.