the pros and cons
In comparison to litigation, mediation is faster, cheaper, confidential, and impossible to lose.
Mediation offers the opportunity to decide for yourself about your own future. In the case of court or arbitration proceedings a third party makes the decision. By its decision it determines conclusively how the rights and obligations of both parties will be structured. Such solutions may be correct and lawful from the court or arbitrator’s perspective, but rarely reflect the wishes and options of both parties. As a rule, one party is generally satisfied with the result achieved while the other party comes away with a sense of indignation, discontent, injustice and frustration. These feelings often for a long time, if not forever, stand in the way of the parties cooperating with each other again.
Conflict resolved by force or from an authoritative position of power continues to exist albeit in a new form. Court proceedings may lead to a decision, but the conflict escalates and often results in an irreversible breakdown of relationships. Mediation on the other hand aims to resolve conflict and facilitate future cooperation.
Mediation is usually completed within a few sessions (2 to 4), while court cases can drag on for many months or even years, cost an inestimable amount of money and prolong the stressful period of uncertainty (without the guarantee of a result you would find satisfactory).
Mediation is not suited to situations where one of the parties seeks only to defeat the other party, or where a crime has been committed, or where one of the parties employs threats or physical violence against the other party.
„The symbol in Chinese for crisis is made of two ideographs: one means danger, the other means opportunity. This symbol is a reminder, thet we can choose to turn crisis into an opportunity or into a negative experience.“