What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process of cooperative problem solving in which a neutral third party, with special training and skills, helps individuals to work out mutually acceptable solutions. Mediation is really “a difficult conversation” or negotiation facilitated by a mediator.
Although the mediation process is voluntary, agreements reached through mediation are as valid as any other contract. Mediations held under Ontario’s Commercial Mediation Act, 2010 include a process for court enforcement of mediated settlement agreements.
Mediation always remains confidential.
Confidentiality prevents mediation communications from being disclosed and is not admissible in court.
Mediation is voluntary.
Either party is free to withdraw from mediation at any time during the process.
Not one mediator fits all disputes.
Not every mediator will mediate all types of disputes and many restrict their practices to specific areas or models of mediation. This makes it important to note that different mediators are suitable for different types of disputes.
The mediator does not impose a solution.
The parties are responsible for coming to an agreement themselves, with the mediator’s guidance.
Mediation should be approached with fairness.
Although conflict is difficult to deal with and emotions often run high, you should come to mediation with an honest desire to reach a settlement that is fair to all parties and workable in practice.
Mediation should be approached with flexibility.
Participants in mediation must be prepared to be flexible in moving away from their initial positions and seek solutions that meet as many of their mutual interests as possible.