Thoughts on Mediation and Project Management
All too often the machinery of dispute resolution starts up when, if closer investigation took place, it would be found there was not really any serious dispute in the first place. Differences of opinion, misunderstandings of motives and differing expectations are all part of everyday working. With clear communication and a good deal of trying to understand others’ view points these everyday situations can be prevented from becoming disputes.
A common theme I have found in disputes is each party assuming that the other party intentionally meant to do harm to the other. Undoubtedly there are those who are less than conscientious, but generally most businesses and individuals just want to do a decent job and receive fair payment. Businesses grow by reputation and repeat clients and reliable suppliers of goods and services are highly desirable.
Full trust in good intentions may be a bit too hopeful, and fool-hardy, but it is always useful to make the effort to examine whether there is a good reason for why performance hasn’t met expectations before a dispute resolution process is put in place. If that good reason exists and can be eliminated then a costly and damaging dispute is avoided. Once the machinery of dispute resolution is put in place then the management of the dispute resolution process becomes the main focus rather than examining the reason for the dispute
A mediator as an independent 3rd party is well placed to help parties review whether there is an easy-to-solve reason behind a dispute through Early Intervention Mediation. Once the process of dispute resolution starts the dispute takes on an identity of its own and the initial causes become harder to resolve.