Mediation services are growing in huge demand today more than ever before. This alternative dispute resolution mechanism has proven very effective in trying to resolve issues and reach an amicable settlement. During mediation, a mediator helps the parties involved to compromise and reach a solution that is fair and beneficial to all parties. It is a confidential process and a very cost-effective one when it comes to dispute resolution. Even so, mediation services can only be effective when working with a qualified, competent, experienced, and confidential mediator.
Now, there is no easy formula that can predict the competence of a mediator. It is thus imperative that you do some groundwork before settling on a particular mediator. For starters, it would do you good if you understood the mediation process in detail. This will lead you into choosing a mediator that is qualified, competent, and confident enough to resolve your issues the best way they know how. The first step, therefore, when it comes to choosing mediation services is to decide what you want. This is where you think of your goals of having the mediation session.
Are you looking for a mediator that will suggest options to help the parties move towards reaching an agreement? Are you looking for a mediator who does not offer options and opinions but allows the parties to feel responsible for their commitment? The best way to go about this is to think of past attempts at negotiations and any challenges faced during those attempts. It is also at this juncture that you get to think of your abilities, your strengths, and your weaknesses as a party and those of the other party as well.
The next step is to come up with a list of potential mediators. Make good use of the internet to research on the top-rated mediators near you. Take the time to go through online reviews of the service providers and study their mediation approach. You can also come up with a list of potential mediators through word of mouth. Family, friends, relatives, your attorney, your doctor, or any other professional can provide valuable links that will help you come up with a good list.
Next step is to schedule an orientation session. Once you have narrowed down your list to at least three most potential mediators, how about you meet them in person. Some mediators offer an orientation or introductory session after which the parties can decide whether they want to continue. Find out if the candidates on your list offer this and if yes, does it come at a reduced cost or no cost at all. While at it, get a feel of their personality and their approach to mediation services. Also, get to dig deeper on their experience and expertise in these services. More importantly, ensure you understand the mediator’s fee structure. Mediation services are very cost-effective, but they do vary from one provider to another. Get to understand whether the provider charges by the hour, by the day, and if yes, how many hours per day.