How Mediators Help You Resolve Conflicts

Right now I’ll bet there’s at least one person in the world that you are in some type of a conflict or dispute with. It may be something major like a lawsuit a divorce, some type of fraud or scam, or maybe something a little less severe like a dispute with a neighbor or an argument over a bill or something with your employer. Or maybe something small where you’re in a little bit of a cold standoff with a relative, or somebody in your household.  

No matter what that dispute is, you don’t want to let it escalate. You don’t want to let it get any bigger. So how can you do that? And how can you even eliminate that dispute without having to resort to any drama? Well, one way to do it is to use collaborative mediation where you facilitate the resolution.

In most conflicts when you really look at it from a third-party standpoint, the results that both parties want and both people want are very much the same. The difference is usually that much. It seems bigger from the perspective of each person, but in reality, both people really want almost all the same thing. You may not believe that you may not see that, you may think that what you want is completely different from the other person and there’s no common ground. There are no shared opinions. But in reality, even though the other person thinks the same thing, the two circles of shared opinion overlap almost a hundred percent. There’s a little bit of a difference between the two. The problem is neither one of you is going to see that. A third party can point out that both of you probably want 90% of the same thing. And the difference is that you both want probably can be accomplished with both people getting almost everything they want. In fact, whatever you do have to sacrifice or give up is much less than what you’d have to give up if you continue the battle. 

Sometimes the reason the battle continues is because of spite, ego, or stubbornness. It’s easy to say just get over it but that’s not how life works. You don’t want to get over it. The other person doesn’t want to get over it. Because you have pride. You don’t want to give in. You don’t want to accept defeat. You don’t want to surrender. You want to win and vanquish and conquer. However, the logic is the cost of doing that. It’s going to be more than the cost of what you’d have to give up. But sometimes people do it anyways out of pride, ego, or spite. However, if you have a third party step in, the third party can demonstrate to both of the people that are in conflict how they can each win and each walks away with a victory, each walks away with confidence. Both people can feel that way. It’s a win-win. And you don’t destroy each other in the process. Everybody knows of stories where there was a lawsuit or divorce or a fight where both people just ended up with nothing. Both people were destroyed by the process. It’s easy to avoid that in hindsight. Almost every party to any lawsuit wishes they never went through with it. Attorneys will tell you this. Attorneys even wished they didn’t go through with it. You ever wonder why it’s so hard to get an attorney? If you’re involved in litigation how hard was it for you to get an attorney to take your case? How hard is it for you to keep that attorney interested in you? Even though you’re paying them. Can’t get them on the phone. Attorneys do not like conflict. You would think that they would be in a different business? They like to resolve problems though. They’d like to do legal advancement litigation resolution. They don’t like to do conflict. They’re about the law. They’re not about fights. Every party to any type of legal conflict, the judge, the jury, the plaintiff, the defendant the witnesses, and the attorney, all wish it didn’t happen. Nobody likes it. Even if you win, nobody likes it. 

In smaller cases, such as divorce, or a probate case, there’s a lot of conflict in probate cases. Families fighting over assets, nobody likes it and in the end, everybody wishes that they just avoided it, to begin with. You’re not going to know that in the middle of a conflict you’re not going to believe it. You’re going to just want to keep sticking to your guns. So you’re not going to resolve this by yourself or with the other person. You want to get a third party involved. 

Here’s proof of that point. Why is it that in a real estate transaction every single transaction, there’s a real estate agent or broker, or realtor? Look at we’re talking about a 40 or $50,000 expense for a real estate commission. You sell a $500,000 house at 6% commission, that’s 30 grand out of your pocket as a seller. Why would you do that? Well, the reason why is because if you don’t you try to sell it by the owner, you’ll never be able to get together with the buyer on terms and conditions because there’s too much self-interest involved. It’s your house. You feel attached to it. That buyer wants it to be their home. You have to have some distance in between. Is it worth $30,000? I don’t know. You can argue the case that it should be less than that but the point is the market has that value built into something that’s not even a conflict, it’s just in negotiation. It’s a deal of coming together. But because of the fact that if there was not a party involved there would be a conflict if you made an offer directly to the seller, be I’m offended by you offering that low price. Right. If you’re a buyer and the seller says well you know this house has this memory, I don’t care about your memories This is going to be my house. There’s too much room for conflict so realtors as a profession have established themselves as a business model to keep the deal together. Tens of thousands of dollars over a simple transaction. Most of the details are done by a title company and mortgage company. That’s the hard part the paperwork. The part of getting people to agree should be pretty easy should be logical You’re a buyer I’m a seller. I want to make this deal happen, but you need 30 $40,000 a pop realtor participation to make it work. That proves the point. If there’s an actual conflict where people are fighting it’s even worse. You get a neutral third party that has no stake in the game to help both parties facilitate the common ground or it’s never going to work. Ask an attorney ask a judge, ask anybody that’s been involved with a court case. 

So what can you do? Get any kind of mediator-arbitrator on your case. They’re not going to take sides. They’re going to be in the middle, even if it’s a friend or a relative, somebody that doesn’t have any attachment to one person over another even if it’s a random person off the street. Get somebody involved to help dissipate and de-escalate the conflict. A mediator can do it. Might cost a little bit of money. Or you can find somebody that maybe is a clergy person, maybe it’s a social worker, maybe it’s some type of a teacher that can get involved. Unless it’s something that’s legal where you want to have a professional certified profession, get anybody. Get both of you in front of them even if you have to beg the other person. I don’t care if you listen to them I don’t want you to try to talk to you and talk you into anything. I just want to get you in a conversation with the three of us, maybe we can work this out. I’m willing to listen. Put a little bit of effort into the game. A third party can make all the difference in the world and keep you from having the damage of tens of thousands in legal fees, years of conflict, stress aggravation high blood pressure, saying something that you can’t take back doing permanent damage to a relationship. A third party can help make all of that go away.

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