Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Every dispute has two (or more) truths, two versions of the same event.
In order for people to best deal with their dispute, and better negotiate an acceptable way forward, understanding that your truth is just that – your truth, enables you to actively listen to the other side’s truth.
Understanding that the other party has their own version of the truth creates an effective base for constructive and open communication.
Mediation is a guided negotiation framework, aided by a neutral mediator. Within the framework of facilitative mediation, participants are able to share their truth in a safe, confidential setting whilst also benefiting from hearing the other party’s truth.
Unlike court proceedings, mediations are entirely confidential (unless agreed otherwise), cost effective and enable parties to deal with all of their concerns in a timely manner – the black and white, as well as all of the grey areas of emotions, feelings, morals and beliefs.
Mediation also has the potential to preserve relationships. Where disputes or disagreements occur in small or family businesses, or other community settings, mediation helps participants to focus on effectively communicating with each other as opposed to attacking each other in court or other public settings.
To get the most out of resolving your dispute, remember that your version of truth is only one side of a two-sided coin, and perhaps two truth’s make a right.
Always seek independent legal advice and have a discussion with your lawyer or legal adviser as to the suitability of mediation to resolve your dispute or claim.
Matthew Maxwell of Maxwell Parker Dispute Resolution is a nationally accredited mediator (NMAS) and a Professional Member of the Resolution Institute.