Mediation is a process whereby an impartial third party — the mediator — facilitates communications, discussions, and negotiations between and among parties who are in a dispute. Mediation is a non-adversarial process which is confidential.
The mediator helps the parties individually identify core business interests and risks, and seeks to find solutions through guided negotiations which help both parties achieve their interests in a win-win fashion. Most disputes are not zero sum games.
In deal negotiations and mediation, parties often think they are distributive bargaining — what one side gains, the other loses. The reality is that both parties have aligned interests and goals, and there is often possible mutual gain. Sometimes, an impartial mediator can help the parties to reframe the issues and identify areas to further explore for agreement. The mediator can also as a buffer or “cover” for a party when proposals are going back and forth between the parties.
Mediators can also help parties avoid the negotiator’s dilemma.