How is Mediation Beneficial to Those Involved?
~ Mediation saves time. A mediation session can be scheduled much sooner than it often takes to get to arbitration, or, in the case of litigation, to trial.
~ Mediation saves money. Resolving a dispute more quickly saves the expenses incurred in witness and document preparation time, as well as the litigation costs incurred not only for legal representation, but especially when considering fees for experts, depositions, interrogatories, numerous court hearings and conferences, and more.
~ Mediation reduces the expenditure of personal energy. A long-carried dispute often eats up the personal energy of the parties, in terms of anxiety, nervousness, continued anger, stress, resentment, depression, worry, and more. It can also have similar effects on others who are directly or indirectly affected by the unresolved dispute.
~ Mediation provides the opportunity for damage control. Many times, the original dispute, left unresolved, escalates and compounds into additional problems. These, in turn, result in additional costs, stresses, and damages. Achieving a resolution early can prevent these occurrences.
~ Mediation creates the opportunity to rebuild broken relationships. In other forms of dispute settlement, such as arbitration or litigation, the relationship(s) between the parties is often permanently damaged or severed. In mediation, since the parties are a part of the resolution process, they can often achieve an outcome which results in a restoration of their relationship.
~ Mediation outcomes can provide a "Win-Win." The opportunity described above for rebuilding relationships is often the greatest example of a "Win-Win." A certified mediator understands the benefit of empowering the parties through mediation to create a resolution which is acceptable for each of them. This differs from the "Win-Lose" outcomes generally found in arbitration or litigation, where the parties relinquish their power to resolve the matter to either the arbitrator, the judge, or the jury to determine the outcome for the unknown winner and unknown loser.
~ Mediation resolutions can often restore trust and build morale, especially when used within organizations, families, workplaces, agencies, neighborhoods, or between businesses and their customers, contractors, and vendors. Since the process of mediation invites the aspects of cooperation, negotiation, and communication between the parties rather than an adversarial environment, mediation dialogs often bridge the gap between the parties created by the initial dispute. This can be especially important to the parties any time there is an ongoing relationship to be maintained.
~ Mediation is private, rather than public, as with court proceedings. Mediation is designed to provide a confidential setting to the parties for the discussion and exchange of information and ideas utilized in achieving a resolution to their problem(s). There are no recording devices used in mediation (such as court reporters or audio or videotapes) , nor are mediation conferences open to the public. In this respect, there is both, confidentiality as to the information discussed in mediation, as well as privacy to the parties from public observers, public record searches, or media publicity.
- Toby Isaacson, Mediator