What Does The Business Mediation Process Involve?
Mediation is a very important way to solve matters with peace with your business partners, shareholders, and other people whom the conflicts have come up with. It is often preferred among businesses to keep things sorted without filing suits and appeals in court. So, what does the business mediation process involve? How does the business mediation process take place? This post will help you understand all the steps involved in business mediation.
Steps Involved in Business Mediation Process
The formal mediation process consists of the following six steps:
- Introductory Remarks
Once both or all the parties involved are present, the mediator makes introductions. The mediation process takes place in a controlled physical setting so that no parties feel threatened. Children, if present, are asked to wait outside. Then, the mediator will give an opening statement that outlines the role of the participants and explains the mediator’s neutrality in the whole process.
However, some mediators make comments about what they see as unfit and confirm data if pre-submitted and needed. They define protocols for the mediation and set the time frame. Plus, the mediator will also review the guidelines and briefly recap the issues that the parties mentioned.
- Problem Statement by Parties
The mediator asks that if attorneys are present, they can confer but clients will speak for themselves and no party should interrupt another so that each party gets full opportunity to share their side of the story in detail.
Usually, the person who has requested the mediation goes first when it comes to making the problem statement. The statement is not necessarily a repetition of the facts, but it will certainly help the parties to frame issues in their own mind and to provide the mediator with more information on the emotional side of the story of each side.
The main objective of the business mediation process is not to go behind the truth, but to help solve the problem.
- Information Gathering Time
In this step, the mediator asks parties open-ended questions and may repeat key ideas to the parties and summarize more than one or two times. This way, the mediator helps to maintain the rapport between parties, especially when a facilitative mediation style is chosen.
- Identification of the Problems
This step might also be a part of other segments. During this step, the mediator aims to find common goals between the parties and figure out which issues are going to be settled.
- Bargaining and Generating Options
This part may include group processes, discussion groups, or subgroups. Besides, it may also include developing hypothetical plausible scenarios, or the mediator’s proposal where the mediator presents a proposal at the table and parties take their turn to modify it.
- Reaching an Agreement
Once the parties are ready to achieve a negotiated settlement, the mediator may propose a brainstorming session to explore potential solutions. This often (not always) leads to a final agreement that brings down the conflict and provides a positive base for building healthy future relationships.
In short, a business mediation process is all about finding common goals and grounds and exploring options to bring out viable solutions that both parties can agree with.