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Benefits of Mediation

Mediation is private, cost efficient and quick. These are just some of the benefits of trying mediation.

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Benefits of Mediation

The top three benefits of mediation are efficiency, cost and privacy but there are several key advantages to mediating your dispute over other forms of dispute resolution processes such as litigation or arbitration. In this chapter we'll be learning about the primary benefits of mediation and how they can vary, depending upon the type of dispute involved.

Let's explore them in full.

Mediation is Voluntary

Mediation is a voluntary process, meaning all parties must willingly participate in the process. The voluntary nature of mediation benefits the parties in several ways, first and foremost it means that a party to the dispute can freely exit the mediation process at any stage if they feel it just isn’t working for them.

It also means that on balance, parties that come to mediation voluntarily are more likely to be open to exploring a resolution or settlement to their dispute through dialogue and collaboration. This also signals to the other side that they are at least willing to come to the table to negotiate, which is a difficult step to take particularly if there's been hostility or the relationship has broken down. I say on balance, because this isn’t always the case but from experience and the research suggests that when a party to a dispute is empowered to decide for themselves (as opposed to coerced or forced into a process) they are more internally committed to seeking a resolution.

Mediation is Flexible and Informal 

Mediation provides a flexible and informal environment where the parties have more control over the process, the decisions they make and can actively shape the outcome. This flexibility allows for creative solutions that may not be available in traditional dispute resolution methods. It also means that parties can go backwards and forward in the process, meaning if they get stuck on a particular issue they can, with the assistance of the mediator, take a few steps back or move onto a different aspect and revisit that issue later on in the mediation.

The informality of the mediation process also helps parties to feel at ease which can help promote open dialogue and creative problem solving. Compared to the rigid and intimidating formalities of an adversarial process like arbitration or court, mediation is often experienced as a breath of fresh air by litigants.

The other advantage that comes with the flexibility of mediation is that parties can still attempt to reach a resolution through other means if mediation doesn't work.

Mediation is Confidential 

The Mediation process is confidential. This confidentiality encourages open and honest communication between the parties, as they can freely discuss their concerns, interests, and potential solutions without fear of public exposure. This confidentiality can be particularly valuable in sensitive disputes involving personal or business matters.

Another benefit of confidentiality is that the terms of any agreement reached can be kept strictly under wraps and is particularly useful in protecting sensitive commercial matters and keeping reputations intact. 

It's also worth noting that there are different layers of confidentiality in mediation and it's useful to be aware of these if you are training to become a mediator or participating as a party or lawyer in mediation.

They are:

👉🏼 Insider-insider Confidentiality
👉🏼 Insider-outsider Confidentiality
👉🏼 Insider-court Confidentiality

To better understand these different layers of mediation confidentiality we've asked Professor Nadja Alexander, a leading mediation academic and a practitioner, to explain the subtle but important disctinctions.

Mediation Preserves Relationships

Mediation focuses on finding mutually agreeable solutions rather than determining winners and losers. It emphasises cooperation and understanding between the parties, aiming to preserve or restore relationships rather than exacerbate conflicts. This aspect is particularly important in disputes involving ongoing relationships, such as family matters, workplace conflicts, or business partnerships.

Sometimes the outcome of mediation means that a relationship comes to an end, for example a commercial or employment relationship may be terminated. Even in these circumstances, mediation can help the parties draw a line in the sand, as it were, and move forward in new directions without the baggage of fractured relationships.

Mediation is Cost Effective

Mediation is frankly much cheaper than litigation or arbitration. It typically requires fewer formal procedures, legal representation, and court fees. Moreover, the process can be completed relatively quickly, reducing the time and expense associated with lengthy court battles. In fact most disputes that go to mediation reach settlement in one day and those that don't often settle soon afterwards.


In mediation you truly are the master of your own destiny. Unlike any other form of dispute resolution, the parties are in control of the outcome. Mediation empowers the parties involved in the dispute by giving them an active role in the decisions they take at every stage of the process. They have the opportunity to express their concerns, needs, and interests directly to the other side or, if they'd rather not be in the same room as the other side during negotiations and are in what's called a shuttle mediation process, they can instruct the mediator to share information with the other side. We cover this in the Chapter on Mediation Process.

With the assistance of a mediator, the parties take part in crafting a solution to the dispute that best serves their needs and interests. This ownership over the process and outcome can lead to higher satisfaction and compliance with the resolution. One of the core pillars of mediation is party self-determination and this is often seen as the primary benefit of mediation.

To pull everything together, mediation provides a voluntary, flexible, and confidential process that emphasises collaboration, preserves relationships, and offers cost-effective resolution options.

Its benefits extend to various types of disputes, enabling parties to actively participate in the resolution process and tailor solutions to their specific needs and priorities.

Advantage of Mediation for Different Types of Disputes

The suitability of a particular dispute resolution process may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the preferences of the parties involved.

For example the advantages of mediation for a family dispute may seem quite obvious. Mediation can provide a supportive and non-adversarial environment to address family disputes such as a separation or divorce. These disputes are often highly emotional and distressing for family members especially where there are children involved and matters around access or child custody need to be addressed. Sometimes family conflict can surface between siblings over the decisions around elder care. This is where family mediation can make a significant impact because it helps everyone involved to focus on the best interests of the family and allows them to retain control over key decisions affecting family members.

In disputes involving team members or work colleagues, workplace mediation can bring significant advantages over other means of addressing workplace conflict where often ongoing relationships need to be preserved. The confidential nature of mediation means that conversations can take place in complete privacy which means work colleagues can discuss difficult issues openly. The collaborative nature of mediation means that colleagues can also learn how to improve their communication and identify workable and mutually beneficial solutions. This can also foster a more harmonious working environment.

The advantages of mediation for resolving commercial disputes such as business partnerships or contractual disagreements again are obvious because mediation allows parties to problem-solve and come up with creative solutions that simply would not be available in another forum like arbitration or litigation. It also helps disputants who need to get their business relationships back on track or need to protect commercial reputations or simply save the time, cost and pain often incurred by parties in protracted legal disputes.

The flexibility, confidentiality and creativity that mediation affords parties makes it the fastest growing dispute resolution method on the planet.

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