Reaching an agreement can be a complicated process, but mediation is a reliable option to make decision making easier. Mediation is typically a voluntary process and is most common in small claims courts, family courts and housing courts.

During mediation, the parties and their mediator have control over the process including when and where the mediation takes place, who will be present, and how the mediator will interact with the parties involved. When deciding on mediation, there are a few ways to help your mediation be more successful.

Be prepared

In any trial or business meeting, preparation is key to having a successful mediation. Bring any essential paperwork and anything you can use to persuade the other side. Having a well-rounded knowledge of the facts and the law will show that you are negotiating from a position of strength.

Be flexible during the mediation

Flexibility is vital to having a successful mediation. When either party enters the process with the mindset of “winning”, it seldom turns into a successful mediation. Throughout the entire process, it’s important to have an open mind and to consider different outcomes. It’s rare that you will come out of a mediation settlement with exactly what you hoped for. The idea of mediation is that both parties agree on terms that benefit each of them and resolve the ongoing dispute.

Give options for mutual gain

The more options a client has to choose from, the more likely the mediation will lead to an agreement that works for both sides. Have a variety of different options and outcomes in mind. While you might not get exactly what you wants, you still want to walk out with something that benefits you. Remember, this process isn’t about winning.

When choosing mediation, the idea is to have both sides walking out satisfied with the outcome. Flexibility and compromise is necessary for this process to work. By following these tips, you will have a more successful mediation.