Four Tricks That Make Mediation Work

Mediation/Negotiation Skills

But the potential benefits of such alternative dispute resolution are often undermined by the participants entering the process with the same litigation-oriented, adversarial mindset they meant to leave behind. Here are four counterintuitive strategies that harness the strengths of mediation rather than treating it as litigation light. They may not be traditional, but properly employed, they work.

1. Let the other side pick the mediator.

Mediation should be speedy, economical, and conciliatory. But parties often kick things off with a mediator-selection process that is complex, expensive, time consuming, and adversarial. Avoid this opening skirmish by letting the other side pick the mediator. This engenders cooperation, generates good will, speeds up the process, holds down costs, and introduces you to new mediators you might actually like.

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