Disputes are inevitable in business. They can arise at any time even under the best of circumstances and might involve vendors, employees, or your partners or members of your board of directors. Dispute can be difficult to resolve and tend to be time-consuming, expensive, and a disruption for your business.
One of the most common approaches to resolving a dispute is litigation. Taking the matter to court can bring an end to a dispute, but this often takes a long time, costs a lot of money, and can be damaging to the reputations of everyone involved.
Luckily, there is a better option. Mediation can help you resolve disputes more effectively.
How does the mediation process work for businesses and why is it considered the better option?
Mediation is a Faster process
According to statistics, mediation has a settlement rate of nearly 90 percent and about a three quarters of the cases resolved successfully are completed within a single day. Mediation also makes it possible to save money in legal fees, avoid wasting time, and promote long-term mutually beneficial relationships once the dispute is resolved.
Mediation Gives Disputing Parties Control
When you go to court to resolve a business dispute, you put your fate into the hands of a judge. The judge’s goal is to be impartial and offer a solution that seems fair, but he or she has relatively limited knowledge of your business. The best people to resolve a dispute are those directly involved and who are directly affected by the outcome.
In commercial mediation, both parties agree to bring in a mediator who oversees the process and facilitates a resolution. This person has no authority to levy a decision and cannot even force parties to participate in the process. The parties involved in the dispute remain in total control of the situation.
Mediation is Private
Mediation is an entirely confidential process, which can be especially beneficial for businesses hoping to protect their reputations. Nothing discussed in mediation can later be used against either party in litigation and nothing is made public unless the parties both agree to release the information. The agreement can even be confidential if the parties so choose.
Mediation offers a facilitative and respectful means by which to resolve business disputes. When a matter is resolved in the courtroom, it is all but guaranteed that parties will walk away combatants. After all, one is a winner and the other a loser.
With mediation, it is possible for everyone to feel as though they have won and the process is not considered a success until everyone is satisfied with the outcome. This makes it not only possible but also probable that mutually beneficial relationships will continue to exist beyond the dispute. Additionally, parties have the tools needed to avoid conflict in the future and to resolve problems on their own if they should arise. Mediation is truly one of the most beneficial tools available for businesses.
R.E. Thompson | Dispute Resolution