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Why Mediation?

Posted by Carolyn Dufton on 29 November 2009
Why Mediation?

The Australian National Mediator Approval Standards defines mediation as;

"A process in which the participants, with the support of a mediator, identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes. The mediator acts as a third party to support participants to reach their own decision."

Mediation is used successfully with relationship issues, workplace relations between employees, B to B disputes and certainly in franchise disputes.

A mediator does not judge or advise, they simply facilitate open discussion between two parties, with a view to coming to an agreement that both parties can accept.

The benefits of mediation are many. The obvious one being that mediation is simpler and less expensive than a court of law.

Mediation allows issues that may have been suppressed, to be aired and expressed in a safe and neutral environment. This can be very helpful in a workplace where poor working relationships can affect staff performance and general morale.

A disagreement between businesses, perhaps involving service delivery and payment is often mediated successfully leaving both parties feeling that the issue is resolved and that they can "move on".

75% of all franchise disputes mediated reach an agreement in only one mediation session.. The Franchising Code of Conduct stipulates that if either franchisor/franchisee requests a mediation process that the other party must attend and share the mediation cost.

Advantages of using mediation to resolve issues in your workplace or with clients/ suppliers.

  • Confidentiality (to the extent permitted by the law)

This is of great benefit as the terms agreed to within the mediation do not set a precedent.
Concessions can be made without others knowing.

  • Everyone has a chance to have their say.
  • Cost effective. Much cheaper than the courts.
  • Time efficient. The courts process is lengthy and stressful.
  • Mediation allows for often creative and satisfying resolutions to be achieved.

Not all situations are ideal for mediation but the mediator will determine the suitability at a preliminary meeting held privately with each party.

Mediation when used appropriately and conducted professionally and neutrally is an extremely powerful process.

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Author: Carolyn Dufton
About: Carolyn Dufton Dip. Bus (Franchising) heads the team as the owner and manager of franchisingplus. Carolyn has a wealth of small business experience, and many years of hands on franchising experience.
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