In the normal course of business conflictual situations occur fairly frequently.
Whether they result from the breach of contracts, real or perceived damages to one of the parties caused through the negligence of the other, deviation from industry standards or any of a number of other causes their resolution is achievable through mediated negotiation.
The costs (often unjustifiable), the unknown financial and operational risk to business objectives and time delays associated with the public court process make the negotiation of contractual disputes the preferred route. The problem, however, is that personality clashes, emotions, posturing, etc. make the results of such negotiations unsatisfactory for at least one of the parties, often for both: damage or even destruction of the business relationship, unreasonable penalties bringing additional costs, etc, A satisfactory mediated settlement of the issues enhances on the one hand, the business objectives of the organization and on the other, avoids the risk to the reputation of corporate owners and executives.
It is essential to involve, in the dispute resolution process, a skilled mediator who is experienced firsthand with the realities of business negotiation. The best results are usually obtained by neutrals who have repeatedly participated in these resolution processes. There is no substitute to being “n the line of fire” to make one understand the needs and business interests of the contesting sides and help them resolve the dispute without the expense and uncertainty of the adversarial court processes.
The mediator needs to be familiar with the technical aspects of the matters in dispute including the risks associated with various settlement outcomes. The selection of an mediator with commercial expertise enhances the credibility for the mediation process and ensures a satisfactory, cost-effective, outcome for all the participants.
Two of the SRG associates have many years of corporate experience at senior levels during which they were in the position to resolve disputes and conduct numerous negotiations with business partners, suppliers and customers. Sometimes these negotiations occurred between departments of the same company. When this experience, combined with Alternative Dispute Resolution skills is used to assist the parties the results are always positive: mitigation of the financial damage, timely re-establishment of a productive business relationship and, just as importantly face saving by the major participants.