When it comes to dispute resolution, we now have many choices. Understandably, disputants are often confused about which process to use. … Read More
Download the FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Mediation Secrets for Better Business Negotiations: Top Techniques from Mediation Training Experts, and you will discover mediation techniques for selecting the right mediator, understand the mediation process and learn how to engage the mediator to ensure a good outcome.
What is a Professional Mediator?
When negotiators can’t come to agreement but want to avoid an expensive, time-consuming, and potentially rancorous lawsuit, a professional mediator is often their most logical choice.
In mediation, a professional mediator assists disputants in working together to craft a resolution that each side values. Mediators encourage parties to share information about their positions and explore innovative means of coming together.
A professional mediator brings a number of benefits to the dispute-resolution process. To begin with, mediation strategies prompt disputants to be proactive about finding a solution to their shared problem. By brainstorming and collaborating, parties in conflict often strengthen their relationship during mediation and are better equipped to work together in the future.
We tend to think mediation processes are all alike, but in fact, a professional mediator may follow different approaches depending on the type of conflict they are dealing with.
For example, standing in direct contrast to facilitative mediation is evaluative mediation, a type of mediation in which a professional mediator is more likely to make recommendations and suggestions. Instead of focusing primarily on the underlying interests of the parties involved, evaluative mediators may be more likely to help parties assess the legal merits of their arguments and make fairness determinations. Evaluative mediation is most often used in court-mandated mediation, and evaluative mediators are often attorneys who have legal expertise in the area of the dispute.
Mediation is often thought of as a last step to adjudicate disputes. But there are advantages of using mediation early in the process to solve problems and reach voluntary compliance agreements.
To learn more, download your complimentary copy of our report, Mediation Secrets for Better Business Negotiations: Top Techniques from Mediation Training Experts. We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new advice and information on mediation to our website.
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For several years, Facebook has been working with social scientists to bring traditional methods of dispute resolution to cyberspace. The site has begun to offer users tools to resolve disputes with one another over offensive or upsetting posts, including insults and photos. … Read More
Often, disputing parties are unable achieve satisfactory or sustainable outcomes on their own through direct negotiation, and require the assistance of a mediator or facilitator. Mediators can help parties involved in a dispute through examining the issues at hand, uncovering the parties’ underlying interests, and identifying creative solutions. To act as mediator requires a great … Read More
Organizations have long recognized the value of hiring professional mediators to help resolve disputes. More and more, managers have begun to also see value in securing mediation training for themselves and their employees. Although there are times when the services of an unbiased, professional mediator are needed, there may also be instances in which employees … Read More
Mediation is often thought of as a last step to adjudicate disputes. In this article, professor Lawrence Susskind spells out the hidden advantages of using mediation early in the process to solve problems and reach voluntary compliance agreements. … Read More
How can you uncover additional value, make useful trades, and put together a package that exceeds your party’s expectations? Here are four integrative negotiation strategies for value creation that all negotiators should add to their toolkit. … Read More
When parties involved in a serious conflict want to avoid a court battle, there are types of mediation can be an effective alternative. In mediation, a trained mediator tries to help the parties find common ground using principles of collaborative, mutual-gains negotiation. We tend to think mediation processes are all alike, but in fact, mediators … Read More
How do we utilize lessons learned from teaching online when returning to the classroom and planning a curriculum? After more than a year of remote learning, students and teachers alike are eager to return to classrooms in the fall. During the pandemic, however, many instructors made significant investments in online teaching resources, lesson plans, and … Read More
What is dispute resolution? There are three basic types of dispute resolution, each with its pros and cons. The first two, mediation and arbitration, are considered types of alternative dispute resolution because they are an alternative to litigation. … Read More
If you work with others, sooner or later you will almost inevitably face the need for conflict resolution. You may need to mediate a dispute between two members of your department. Or you may find yourself angered by something a colleague reportedly said about you in a meeting. Or you may need to engage in … Read More
When disputes arise, negotiators face the difficult question of whether to try to reach a settlement on their own or hand decision-making power over to a judge, a jury, or an arbitrator. Parties often benefit from settling their disputes before going to court, write Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello in … Read More
Use Video Examples to Teach Your Students to Become Better Mediators Parties engaged in disputes are often unable to reconcile their differences alone, or fail to reach outcomes that are adequate for everyone. Mediators can add a great deal of value by helping parties to efficiently and effectively examine the issues at hand, take the interests … Read More
How does the presence of lawyers affect the mediation process and mediations in general? You might guess that when one or both sides bring an attorney to a mediation, the process would become more contentious and adversarial, with impasse more likely, than if the parties worked solely with a mediator. … Read More
So, you’re stuck in a serious dispute, but you’re desperate to avoid the hassle and expense of a court case. You’ve heard about alternative dispute resolution but are not sure what it entails. … Read More
The process of dissolving a partnership can be wrenching, whether the split is undertaken by a couple, business partners, or an organization. But as many real-life examples of conflict resolution show, there are proven ways to calm the turmoil that often accompanies partnership dissolutions and set parties up for a hopeful future. Among conflict resolution … Read More
Here are 15 things about dispute resolution in environmental negotiations that Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind published on his website, Consensus Building Approach. … Read More
During the course of a complex negotiation, the last thing we want to think about is the possibility that a serious disagreement or contract breach will arise during the implementation stage. Yet we also know that such conflicts are common. … Read More
For decades, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has grappled with internal disagreement over its doctrine on LGBTQ rights, which prohibits same-sex marriage and noncelibate gay clergy. Methodists in the United States, who comprise more than half of the church’s 12.5 million members, increasingly have found those positions untenable, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized … Read More
More and more companies are inserting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses in their contracts with customers and vendors—and even, in some cases, in agreements with their own employees. ADR clauses can be beneficial for all concerned if it means avoiding the cost, delay, and uncertainty of going to court. Mandated mediation, in particular, may offer … Read More
When one party brings up the possibility of a lawsuit in a business dispute, the threat can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet business negotiators often benefit from settling their disputes before going to court, write Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello in their book Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in … Read More
As experienced negotiators well know, the more parties involved in a negotiation, the more difficult it often is to come to agreement, due in part to the logistical challenge of making sure each voice is heard. Yet multiparty negotiation offers considerable benefits. Most notably more opportunities for making tradeoffs and creating value in negotiation than … Read More
Business negotiators seeking to resolve a dispute should foster a cooperative spirit, framing negotiations around gains rather than losses. And when negotiators are far apart, it may take a professional mediator or other independent party to help bridge the divide. … Read More
On May 14, Susan Hutson, the independent police monitor for the city of New Orleans brought together community stakeholders and police officials to help formulate a program that would allow police officers and citizens to mediate minor disagreements, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Aided by a professional mediator, citizens and officers would sit face to … Read More
When negotiators can’t come to agreement but want to avoid an expensive, time-consuming, and potentially rancorous lawsuit, mediation is often their most logical choice. Mediation can help to resolve a wide range of disputes. … Read More
If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a turf war. Your administrative assistant is upset because the HR director won’t approve the … Read More
In negotiation, it’s said, preparation is key. Without careful research and logistical planning, we may be left trying to skate by on wits and charm alone—and in today’s business world, they will seldom carry us far. Advance work is especially critical when you expect your talks to be complex, involving numerous issues, multiple parties, and plenty … Read More
When parties to a negotiation can’t seem to find common ground, it sometimes seems as if the only solution is “winner take all.” Consider the decade-long campaign by the backers of the Cape Wind project to build the first offshore wind farm in the United States off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound. Led by … Read More
A few years ago, Stephen B. Goldberg was asked to serve as a facilitator for and adviser to a corporate team from a telecommunications firm that was preparing to negotiate with five other telecom companies on the division of radio spectrum for cellular telephone relay satellites. … Read More
Joint fact finding is a multistep, collaborative process for bringing together negotiating partners with different interests, values, and perspectives. Here are the five stages through which joint fact finding typically proceeds. … Read More
It’s hard to imagine a situation in which negotiating counterparts would choose to sacrifice hundreds of millions of dollars rather than reach agreement. But this is the choice that New York City and its teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), made in January when they declared impasse on a new teacher evaluation system. Back … Read More
If you’ve ever been part of an organization team preparing to negotiate an agreement with another organization, you probably have faced this frustrating task: Aligning your individual interests , other team members’ interests, and those of your company as a whole. … Read More
Negotiation Pedagogy at the Program on Negotiation (NP@PON) produced a video of an actual landlord-tenant small claims mediation – from start to finish, including side-bar conversations – for its 2009 Mediation Pedagogy Conference. It is rare that an actual (as opposed to staged or acted) mediation is available for instructional purposes. Of the many different … Read More