Have you ever listened to a phone conversation between two individuals and wondered, “How long will it take these people to figure out that they are talking about totally different things?”
In this day of expanded communication, it seems that more than ever, people do not communicate effectively, often leading to misunderstanding and conflict. I suspect it is a matter of hearing what you want or expect to hear, and acting and reacting accordingly. Sometimes, people simply do not understand each other, and for one reason or another, do not seek clarification.
Mediation is the perfect forum for communication, either before a case is filed in court, or after. Parties who otherwise would be tremendously uncomfortable and reluctant to communicate regarding conflict are likely to find that the structure and controlled emotional environment provided by a third party neutral open many doors to mutual understanding, and most importantly, resolution of their conflict.
Mediation allows participants to step back and think about each other’s positions, with respect and thoughtfulness. A skilled mediator can assist in interpreting positions and facilitate a win-win result. While parties might not initially want to spend money to hire a mediator, the entire process is likely to save everyone much more money in the long run by solving the dispute before legal bills mount up. The savings in terms of productivity, emotional resources, time not lost in litigation, and personal peace cannot be overstated.
Confronting and resolving conflicts with the assistance of a mediator is not only a worthwhile business and personal investment. Taking this approach leads to the power to control losses and to creatively explore solutions without court intervention. Communication is the foundation for saving time and money and for avoiding unnecessary risk.