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Category:  Articles » Business » Negotiation


What Is Mediation?

         Views: 1261
2008-04-22 05:41:25     
Article by Mary Greenwood

In mediation, the parties agree to work with a neutral third-party facilitator, the mediator, to resolve their dispute. The main difference between negotiations and mediation is that in negotiations, the parties work directly with each other, while in mediation the parties work with the mediator who facilitates the settlement.

Here are some of the characteristics of mediation.

1. The parties agree to work with a facilitator or mediator to resolve a dispute.

2. A mediator does not make a ruling like a judge or arbitrator.

3. Mediation is voluntary so either party may choose to stop at any time.

4. The mediator is neutral and impartial and does not represent either party's interests.

5. A mediator may meet with both parties, a joint session, or individually with one party, a caucus. When meeting in caucus, what is said to the mediator is confidential unless the party agrees that the information can be shared.

6. A mediator can be used when direct negotiations failed.

7. A mediator can be used when the parties don't like each other.

8. A mediator may be able to defuse conflicts or disagreements between the parties.

9. The mediator may play devil's advocate or give a reality check to the parties.

10. Mediation is not therapy.

11. If the case cannot be resolved through mediation, the parties may try arbitration.

What Are The Differences Between Mediation and Negotiation?

Negotiation: The parties agree to work with each other to resolve a dispute.

Mediation: The parties agree to work with a facilitator or mediator to resolve a dispute.

Negotiation: The parties always meet with each other.

Mediation: A mediator may meet with both parties jointly or meet individually with one party which is called a caucus.

Negotiation: The parties can bind themselves in an agreement.

Mediation: The mediator has no decision-making authority and cannot bind the parties. A mediator does not make a ruling like a judge or arbitrator.

Negotiation: The parties have their own interests in the negotiation.

Mediation: The mediator is neutral and impartial and does not represent either party's interests.

Negotiation: The parties use persuasion to get the other side to agree with them

Mediation: The mediator may play devil's advocate or give a reality check to the parties, but it is not the mediator's role to persuade the parties.

Negotiation: Some negotiations fail because the parties cannot work with each other.

Mediation: A mediator may be used because the parties prefer a third party.

Negotiation: Some negotiations fail because the parties have too many conflicts.

Mediation: A mediator may be able to defuse conflicts or disagreements.

Negotiation: Some negotiations are not voluntary such as union negotiations.

Mediation: Mediation is voluntary and either party may choose to stop at any time.

Negotiation: When the parties can't agree, they reach a deadlock or impasse.

Mediation: When negotiations reach an impasse, the parties may try mediation .

Arbitration: When mediation reaches an impasse, the parties may try arbitration.

Mary Greenwood, Attorney Mediator, and Author of How To Mediate Like A Pro, 42 Rules For Mediating Disputes (Published February 2008)
How to Negotiate like a Pro, 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes
Available at http://www.amazon.com
Visit http://www.Marygreenwood.com

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