If a conflict in the workplace has gotten to the point where one side has retained a lawyer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are headed to Court. In fact, many if not most employment disputes can be handled through effective mediation instead.
Mediation is a much less formal process than going to Trial. Each side has their own lawyer, but they also agree to a third-party mediator who will listen to both sides and try to help them reach an agreement they can live with. If the mediation fails, you may still go to Court. However, most cases that go to mediation are solved through the mediation process.
Mediation, in most cases, is preferable to going to Court because the process is usually much quicker and more affordable but can still result in an employee and employer reaching some agreement or settlement. However, for the mediation to be effective, there are some tips that you should follow.
5 Tips for an Effective Mediation
Have an open mind
Even if the only reason you agreed to go to mediation was to get your day in Court, you should still come to the mediation with an open mind. Mediation can be a handy tool. If you go into meditation with a positive attitude and an open mind, you may find a solution agreeable to you without the added cost and stress of going to Court. But if you are convinced the mediation is doomed to fail, then it probably will.
As you can imagine, mediation can be stressful for the parties involved. One or more parties feel they have been wronged, and emotions will run high. One strategy you can use to help you stay calm is to try and empathize with the others in the room. Remember, you are here to find common ground and reach an agreement, not to exacerbate the conflict.
Bring a pen and notepad
Although many people have ditched pens and paper for iPhones and tablets, having an actual pen and notepad is useful in mediation for more than just taking notes (although you can certainly do that too). If you become stressed, frustrated, or angry, you can use the notepad to scribble or doodle to help you cope.
Speak directly to the mediator (not the other party)
It can be tempting to start directing your comments and questions toward the other party during mediation. Chances are, you know the other party well enough to read their body language and facial expressions, and discussions can quickly escalate to arguments and even shouting matches. For this reason, in most mediation the parties are in separate rooms with their lawyers. The mediator can then spend time with each party and their lawyer uninterrupted.
When you direct your attention and comments to the mediator, it will make for a much more productive session.
Focus on the facts
When presenting your case to the mediator, you need to focus on the facts—ultimately, the facts will help the mediator create a solution. When you make personal attacks and float opinions about motives, you waste valuable time that could be better spent resolving your issue.
Contact Minken Employment Lawyers today
If you are an employer or an employee with an upcoming Mediation, we are here to help. Whether you wish us to represent you or assist in preparation, contact us to today to speak to a member of our team: 905-477-7011 | Toll-Free: 1-866-477-7011 | mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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