When you are enmeshed in disputes, attempting to resolve them can be antagonistic, adversarial, time-consuming, and, of course, expensive. And quite often, one or even both sides are dissatisfied with the process and the results. Mediation is an alternative method of resolving complex and contentious issues, including business disputes. If you want to forego the trials, tribulations, and tensions of a long, drawn-out negotiation and/or court process, consider the many benefits of mediation.
Resolving Business Disputes
There is a reason mediation is routinely used to resolve issues related to business disputes (as well as a wide variety of other situations). Actually, there are several reasons!
The 7 benefits of mediation include:
- Avoiding court
- Faster results
- Reduced costs
- Preservation of relationships
- More control
- Information gathering
1. Avoiding court
Visions of A Few Good Men aside, no one wants to star in their own courtroom drama. Going to court is expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. When you opt for mediation, you can work through the process to reach a resolution; this is filed with the court, approved by the judge, and then you’re done. This is not to say that mediation is always easy or tension-free; it is to say, however, that it is much more streamlined and even amicable than a typical adversarial route. This is the first of seven key benefits of mediation.
2. Faster results
When you are waiting for a court date… don’t hold your breath. It can take a year, in some cases, to get a date. If you consider appeals, this could stretch out to multiple years. With a serious issue hanging over your head, it is difficult to move on with your business, your work, your career, and your life. Mediation can provide a path towards far more expedient results.
3. Reduced costs
Time is money, especially when lawyers are involved. The cost for traditional litigation tends to be exorbitant, and the longer a case lasts, the more you pay out. Predicting expenses can be very difficult. Mediation is a cost-effective solution – emphasis on effective. You can achieve positive results while saving money that you can funnel right into your company.
Another consideration is, of course, your time. When you streamline the resolution process, you free yourself, your team, and your resources, to do what you do best: run your business.
Confidentiality is a mainstay of the business world; in many cases, it is the foundation of your reputation and ability to operate. Court proceedings have the potential of becoming public; mediation, on the other hand, is strictly confidential, unless parties choose otherwise.
5. Preservation of relationships
Arbitration and litigation take a toll on relationships; by nature, these systems are adversarial. Someone wins, someone loses. If preserving relationships – whether with vendors, suppliers, partners, co-owners, etc. – is critical, mediation offers a far less acrimonious route. It emphasizes communication and meeting a mutually satisfactory resolution. There needn’t be a “loser.”
6. More control
When you opt for mediation, it gives both parties more control over the process and outcome. You will be directly involved in stating your interest/position and negotiating towards a resolution. There won’t be a “judgment” or “settlement” foisted on you. You must agree. Another factor adding to the sense of control is that mediation is voluntary; any party may choose to withdraw.
7. Information gathering
Now, the goal of mediation is to reach a resolution that is viable and works for all parties. And it is highly effective in doing just that. However, there are times when mediation does not provide acceptable answers; it’s just the nature of doing business in the real world. However, the process is still valuable because you can gather the information that can guide your strategy for dealing with the issue in the future. For example, it can provide clarity on the position that a party is likely to use in litigation or arbitration.
Business disputes have the potential to undermine the solidity and sustainability of your company, and they certainly cause untold stress and tension. With mediation, you have the best chances of resolving these issues before they can become harmful, toxic, and expensive problems. If you need help navigating a complex business dispute, do not hesitate to contact Breakthrough Mediation. We bring people together.