Staying mentally healthy during a mediation
Having a business dispute can be very stressful, to look after your mental health and wellbeing I would like to share with you how you can prepare mentally for your mediation.
When two parties have come together for a mediation it is usually as a result of an unresolved dispute. It may be that one party has approached the other party to resolve the dispute without success, or the two parties have come together to discuss the dispute but have been unable to reach a solution that is acceptable to them both.
This can create tension and resentment and potentially destroy a healthy working relationship. It can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health and wellbeing.
How is mediation different from litigation?
Mediation is a less stressful experience than formal legal proceedings in a courtroom setting. The sessions are informal, but structured, conducted in a meeting room with all parties seated around a table. The mediator does not apply strict rules, however adapts the process to best suit the dispute and the individuals involved. This process allows for parties to address and resolve issues in less stressful, non-confrontational way, increasing the likelihood of continuing their business relationship.
Mediation is empowering as it allows both parties to directly engage in the negotiation of their settlement and therefore have control of the outcome.
Preparing for your mediation
The best way to have a mentally healthy mediation is to be well prepared.
- Ensure that you attend the mediation in person, even if you intend to have legal or other representation with you.
- Prepare a short statement that tells your side of the story. Avoid minor issues that often arise in disputes.
- Bring any related documents to support your claims.
- Think about the outcome you would like to achieve, your immediate needs and what you are willing to compromise to reach a resolution.
- Consider having a support person, legal or professional representation, to either attend with you, or be available to talk to you by telephone during the mediation. It is not necessary to have representation during the mediation process, however some parties in mediation feel more comfortable if they are accompanied by a lawyer or another representative.
- Interpreters are available to you at no cost. Please contact VSBC if you require an interpreter.
- While the average length of mediation is around 3.5 hours, it may sometimes take longer. Please take this into consideration when making your plans.
- If the dispute is resolved, be prepared to sign a written settlement agreement at the end of the mediation.
I’d also encourage you to read our Mental Health Strategic Plan.