Disagreements are bound to arise within any company. When these disputes escalate past simple disagreements, the parties may begin considering business litigation.
However, an intermediary step exists that could help avoid such a costly and time-consuming process. Participating in mediation could allow the parties to resolve their issues without the need for further adversarial processes.
Here are some steps you can take to improve your likelihood of a successful mediation process:
- Get on the same page: Prior to sitting down for mediation, it’s important that both parties gain a common understanding of the issues that need resolution. While you may assume that the issues are obvious to you both, it is actually common for parties to have different understandings of the problems they are attempting to address through mediation. Coming to a thorough understanding of the issues on the table ahead of time can be beneficial.
- Prepare for a variety of outcomes: When entering into mediation, you likely have an ideal scenario in your mind – the resolution you’d most like to reach. However, mediation will likely involve some back-and-forth negotiation. It’s helpful to think through ahead of time which alternative scenarios you could live with – and which would be unacceptable to you. Making such decisions on the spot during a mediation session – without having time to think through their implications – can hurt you in the long run.
- See it through: Once you have reached an agreement, it’s important to put it in writing – and ensure its implementation. Make sure you are taking any necessary steps to follow up and verify that you and the other party are both holding up your ends of the bargain.
Mediation can provide a cheaper, faster and more private alternative to litigation. Entering into mediation discussions with sufficient preparation can improve your chances of coming to a resolution you’re happy with.
Working with a business lawyer who is well versed in both mediation and litigation practices can be advantageous, as it sets you up for whatever comes your way.