What is Online Mediation and How Can it Work for You?
Mediation is one of the alternative dispute resolution processes. It is a facilitative process between two or more disputing parties overseen by a neutral third party. The third party is known as a mediator.
Benefits of online mediation
Convenience: the flexibility of the process allows parties to take part when they have the time.
There is more room for well-thought-out responses. Due to the slower pace of email communication, mediators are better able to craft communications and strategy. They do not need to react to disputing parties’ statements immediately. Also, participants can take their time to respond to allegations or statements made by the other party. They will be able to respond logically and without the clog of emotions.
A level playing field for all parties. When disputing parties are composed of people who tend to dominate the conversation and those who are reserved. The use of email to communicate instead of face-to-face mediation levels the playing field. Parties with dominant confrontational temperaments will not be able to hijack the proceedings. Also, reserved parties will not feel forced to concede points unnecessarily. They won’t need to concede because they want to end confrontations or bring the process to a speedy end.
Caucuses are truly confidential. During conventional mediation, if a party requests a caucus, they and the mediator will have to move to another location. This could cause ill feelings with the other party as they are left to imagine the worst with what is going on in the other location. With online mediation, parties can request caucuses without the other party’s knowledge. This reduces instances of ungracious feelings.
Disputing parties can concentrate on the content of each other’s points. They can do this without getting distracted by non-verbal cues. This includes cues like the crossing of the arms, eye-rolling and others that could be misconstrued as confrontational.
Jurisdiction stops being an issue. In dispute cases that cut across state lines, deciding where the mediator will come from stops being an issue.
Disputants from different geographic zones can still discuss, as online mediation is not limited by borders.
Your choice of mediator is no longer limited to your geographical location. You do not have to concern yourself with choosing a mediator near you. All you need is to ensure that the mediator is an expert in the area of dispute
Anonymity is preserved. Online mediation is usually the best option for parties who will like to keep their anonymities intact. An example of beneficiaries of this is insurance companies and government agencies. They could keep their identities out of the mediation process when resolving disputes.
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