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Tips for preparing for mediation

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Mediation

When you have a business dispute and you want to salvage the relationship between you and the other party, mediation can be the best tool – but how do you approach mediation in the best way?

If you want to get the most out of mediation (and avoid escalations in the conflict that can ultimately lead to litigation) here are some tips:

1. Understand the process

The more you understand how mediation works and what to expect, the easier it will be to stay fully engaged in the process. Ask plenty of questions before the first session arrives so that you understand what to expect.

2. Know your objectives

What matters the most to you? Spend some time determining exactly what you need to get out of the resolution (as opposed to what you might want to get out of the situation). Clear objectives can make it easier to communicate well during the negotiations.

3. Assess your position

Take a critical look at the strengths and weaknesses of your position. That can help you both organize your thoughts and inform your negotiation strategy. This can also help you manage your expectations so that you have a realistic approach to the outcome.

4. Commit to flexibility

Mediation requires give-and-take on both sides. If you go into the mediation process wanting a “winner” and a “loser” to emerge, you’re probably going about the situation with the wrong objectives. Be willing to give up a few things to get a better outcome.

5. Practice communication

Effective communication is key to successful mediation. Practice “active listening” so that you can really understand the perspectives of the other parties involved. Aim for articulate expression of your main talking points while always being respectful, so that you foster an atmosphere of cooperation.

By understanding the process, clarifying your objectives, and approaching negotiations with an open mind, you can increase your chances of achieving a positive outcome. Remember, mediation is not solely about winning or losing but about finding mutually satisfactory solutions that pave the way for resolution and reconciliation.