MEDIATION is a consensual process for parties to mutually resolve any dispute with the guidance of an objective third party. The setting is informal, relaxed, and confidential. Attorneys may be present, but there are rarely any witnesses and few documents. The parties retain personal control over the terms of the final agreement.

Guided by the expertise and experience of the mediator, disputants are able to move from entrenched positions to common interest. Alternative solutions and compromises are explored and a mutually agreeable settlement is achieved. Generally, a written memorandum of understanding is drafted and signed. By entering into the mediation process, the parties do not waive any other rights to redress their issues in a more formal arena, such as administrative agency, arbitration or court.

Any conflict or dispute is worthy of mediation if the parties to the conflict approach the process with a willingness to resolve their issues without litigation. An initial individual session establishes the two essentials of the process: that each participant is willing and able to look at and take responsibility for their own role in the conflict, as well as to look at the situation from the other person’s perspective.

The cost of mediation is far less than the cost of either arbitration or trial. Mediation preserves relationships, saves time, money, and stress, and is confidential. The parties determine how to respectfully address differences in the future.

As distinct from arbitration or a formal court trial – both of which take the ultimate resolution out of the hands of the disputants and gives it to the arbitrator, hearing officer, or judge – the parties’ ability to control the outcome is a strong motivator to participate fully in the mediation process. Having arrived at the solution themselves, the parties are more likely to abide by their settlement.

FACILITATION is a group process guided by an objective party. The term is often used to refer to mediation in a group setting, as well as other group processes, including strategic planning and teambuilding. INFINITE RESOLUTIONS facilitations build upon organizational strengths, and build capacity for values-based decision-making and problem solving.

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