Choosing the right mediator for your dispute is critical to reaching your desired result. However, the selection process can be overwhelming and stressful. Here are the key factors to consider when comparing mediators:
1. Training and credentials – Mediation requires specialist skills that are acquired through training and experience. A great starting point is to check the mediator’s credentials. You should look for a mediator who is nationally accredited with a professional mediation body like the Australian National Mediator Accreditation System.
2. Background and expertise – It is important you choose a mediator whose area of expertise matches the unique nature of your dispute. For example, if your dispute involves legal issues, a legally trained mediator may be suitable. Similarly, if your dispute is specific to a certain industry, you should look for a mediator with particular experience in that industry.
3. Style – Mediators can take an evaluative or facilitative style to resolving a dispute. An evaluative approach is more active and focuses on giving legal recommendations while the more popular facilitative approach is non-advisory and focuses on the needs and interests of parties. If you’re unsure, you can ask a mediator their goals are for resolving disputes.
4. Personality – The personality of a mediator also plays a role in the outcome of a mediation. Consider the different people involved in your dispute and decide if your matter needs a firm or a soft approach.
5. Conflict of interest – Having a non-biased and neutral mediator is the cornerstone to a successful mediation. Your mediator should check for any conflicts of interest before a mediation to determine whether he or she can accept the appointment.
6. Costs and management – A mediator should clearly explain the cost of their service and ensure these costs are met throughout the process. While it is tempting to opt for the cheapest option, it is important to prioritise quality of service to ensure you are receiving value for your money. A high-quality mediator will spend the time to listen and understand your needs to ensure the best outcome is reached.
If you need help choosing a mediator, we can help you! The Accord Group has a panel of experienced mediators based all around Australia with a range of industry backgrounds and expertise. We have flexible mediation packages and you will always get a quote upfront so you know exactly what to expect.
You can get started by contacting The Accord Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (02) 9264 9506.