Part 1 Preparing for Mediation: You May Win the Battles, but Did You Win the War?

Preparing for Mediation

Sit down and write all the events that have led up to the dispute.

Now take a new piece of paper (or create a new document in a note book or on your word processor) and write about the same events, but this time write about them from the other person’s point of view.

How do these two versions differ? How are they similar? What did you leave out?

What you leave out is as significant as what you write down.

You should consult a lawyer who can tell you about how the law would treat the events (what you might call the ‘facts’) you have written down.

Consider all of this information and decide what is the best outcome you could realistically expect if this were not to be resolved by negotiation and without an expensive and time consuming court trial (BATNA) and what is the worst outcome you could realistically expect if this were not to be resolved without an expensive and time consuming court trial (WATNA).


Your solution will be between the WATNA and BATNA alternatives you have identified. If you cannot achieve the WATNA through negotiation or in mediation, you might be better served by another process, such as arbitration or litigation. If you can achieve the BATNA without negotiation or mediation choose the resolution method will get you that solution.

Be honest with yourself and answer this question: What am I looking for that I cannot get somewhere else?


Is mediation the right place for you to be looking for a solution? Recognize that sometimes it is better to just walk away and not pay the financial and emotional price that goes with engaging in the dispute. If what is important to you will not be found in negotiation, mediation, arbitration or in a court room it may be better to turn the other cheek rather than teach (or receive) a forced lesson in humility.


Read Chapter Two of Eckhart Tolle’s book “Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” for an eye opening analysis of how our Ego works and how it can become the driving force in the absence of this understanding.


Remember, not every fight is worth fighting. Also, remember, some things are worth fighting for. The question is how do you decide what is true for you to be true to yourself?

The Art & Science of Dispute Resolution

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