For many, mediation is an unknown process. Many do not understand what it is and, most importantly, how it may help them resolve disputes effectively and with little cost. Therefore, there are many myths and assumptions as to mediation’s benefits and process. This article will take a look at 5 general myths that many have regarding mediation.
Myth # 1: A mediator is like going to court.
Mediation is a confidential process in which you and the other party sit down with a trained mediator who helps you work through your conflicts to an agreed upon solution. The mediator is not a judge or a decision maker. Mediation is an active process. Meaning all decisions and direction of the mediation are determined by you and the disputing parties. The process is completely in your hands and can be a formal or informal as you desire it to be. It is the mediator’s job to work with both parties to help them find a solution that all agree upon.
Myth # 2: Mediation is an expensive process
Mediation is frankly one of the cheapest ways to settle a dispute. Rates for a good mediator will vary depending on your dispute and geographic area. The cost of mediation generally are less expensive then attorney and court fees. Mediation is also great way of saving time and energy. Mediation is much quicker than taking a dispute to litigation. Litigation can take a lot of time, and money, while mediation may take a few hours. The cost of resolve disputes quickly and keep you out of court through mediation is very cost effective.
Myth # 3: Mediation is generally not successful
This is another myth about mediation. In fact mediation success rates are well in the 90% rate. The reason for the high success rate is the satisfaction of the participants. All parties take an active and decision making role in the resolution. Thus all resolutions are supported by the parties, because it is a solution that they all have agreed upon. This high satisfaction rate makes long lasting agreements, and helps preserve relationships. In fact, many people tend to feel more satisfied with mediation then with a court decision, where the resolution is put in the hands of a judge instead of the parties.
Myth # 4: If the conflict involves complex issues mediation will not work
Most conflicts have complex issues. Mediation gives you the space to discover, and discuss complex issues. Anything that can be decided in court can be resolved with mediation. With mediation, a mediator can help explore deeper issues and perspectives that you may normally not get at. A mediator is trained to help the parties find the language to discuss difficult issues and underlying root problems that keep the conflict alive. With mediation, you have more freedom to discuss complex issues and a trained mediator who is equipped to discuss emotions, perspectives and deeper issues within the conflict.
Myth #5: I am not represented in mediation and I am afraid that a decision will be made that I do not like
In mediation everyone is given the opportunity to represent themselves. Mediation provides the space for you to let you speak, be heard, and to work on a resolution. Mediation is also allows great flexibly in who participates. It is not uncommon for people to bring others for support. Some mediations may involve attorneys, spouses, and anyone who all parties agree to have participate. In mediation, it is the mediator’s job to make sure that everyone is heard, and is an active participant in the mediation. The mediator will never force a resolution on any participant who does not agree with the solution. Mediation is an active and participatory process involving all parties. All decisions are made by you and the other parties.
As you can see, many of myths about mediation are can be easily debunked. Mediation is a great cost effective process that can reduce and resolve conflicts. Its application is so wide that is can be applied to any conflict, and produce strong results. Mediation is an active process. Meaning the success of the mediation is based on the active participation and decision making power of the parties. It’s a process that can help individuals, organizations and businesses resolve their conflict and keep them out of court.