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Mediation is a proven way of resolving all types of civil disputes. As an out-of-court method, mediation represents a unique tool for getting just compensation through negotiations and reconciling the disputed parties.
However, not every mediation is successful. To maximize your chances of reaching a mutually beneficial outcome, follow these eight golden rules:
Sometimes the nature of a dispute requires you to wait before trying to resolve it through mediation. For example, personal injury or wrongful death disputes involve intensive emotions, such as anger, resentment, and revengefulness. Attempting to mediate such a dispute too early will prove unsuccessful. Instead, wait until the case is ripe for negotiations. It may take a year or more after the wrongful death until the surviving family members can discuss the matter peacefully with the responsible person.
Before engaging in mediation and coming to the sessions, learn all the facts of your case. Do not leave room for misinterpretations. Be clear about what is in dispute. That will help in avoiding unnecessary talks about other issues.
Looking at your case from an evaluative perspective is always a mistake. Taking such an approach will hinder your negotiation efforts. You will not be able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and understand their point of view. Instead, stay open-minded and let the mediator facilitate negotiations leading you to a potential settlement.
The mediator can only learn your case from you and the opposite party. Depending on the materials and information you provide, the mediation process can take different directions. Therefore, furnish the mediator with as much information as possible. Bring documents and other materials that support your arguments. Be open about your claims. If the other party does the same, the mediator will be able to get the objective picture of your case and help you resolve it.
Engaging in multiple mediation sessions and negotiating with an unauthorized person is meaningless. Before entering into negotiations, make sure the other party has the authority to discuss the case and settle the dispute. Likewise, acquire the necessary consent from your business partner, spouse, or another person, making sure you have the authority to negotiate.
Participating in negotiations requires a different approach than litigating disputes in a courtroom. You need to use non-adversarial language and carefully formulate your offers and counteroffers. Because most people do not have real-life experience in mediation sessions, you should stay flexible and open to suggestions. Let the mediator help you find the right measure in negotiating contested matters with the opposite party.
Coming to the mediation session, be aware of the mediator’s role. Do not seek or expect them to resolve the dispute by issuing a binding decision. Stay away from any attempt to fight the other party. Mediation is about negotiations and compromise. Instead of seeking to win the case and defeat your opponent, engage in an open and honest conversation to settle.
One of the most common mistakes parties make in any mediation is quitting too early. Do not forget that a successful resolution of your case may be just around the corner. By leaving the negotiation table too soon, you are missing an opportunity to settle your case and avoid time-consuming and costly litigation.
Thomas Chase is a certified Florida mediator with years of experience mediating various civil cases. He can bring these eight golden rules to life and apply them to your dispute.
All you need to do is reach out and schedule your appointment.