There is more than one way to resolve a business dispute. You might consider taking the matter to court, but a full-blown trial can quickly drain time and money. Accordingly, many litigation-wary business leaders turn to mediation to find a more efficient means of resolving disagreements with business partners, employees, rival businesses and other parties.
Mediation does more than save money
The main reason most business leaders turn to mediation is that it's typically less expensive than going to court. It's also typically faster. A trial can last for weeks, incurring tremendous expense and drawing your time and attention away from business operations. In some cases, parties that enter into mediation can resolve their differences in a single day, depending upon the complexity of the issues at stake and each side's willingness to work together toward a fair outcome.
Three other advantages offered by mediation include:
- More control over the outcome: No matter how seemingly strong your case is, judges and juries can render unpredictable results. When disputing parties work together with a third-party mediator to reach agreements, they maintain more control over the outcome and avoid the unpredictability of a courtroom decision.
- More amicable: A drawn-out courtroom trial can poison a business relationship for life. Mediation provides a less adversarial means of resolving disputes. By working together to overcome disagreements, you can maintain and even strengthen a profitable business relationship without unnecessarily burning bridges.
- More privacy: A courtroom dispute becomes part of the public record, while a mediated dispute remains private. If you have concerns about sensitive business matters reaching the ears of the public, mediation offers a clear advantage.
Mediation only works when both parties are engaged and willing to find common ground. Forbes offers advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of the mediation process.
Is mediation right for your dispute?
Opposing parties can use mediation to resolve nearly any type of business dispute, from disagreements between business partners to discrimination claims. In some cases, traditional litigation is still the preferred dispute-resolution method, but more and more business leaders are recognizing and taking advantage of the benefits of mediation.