Negotiation vs Mediation
As alternative dispute resolution techniques, we have known negotiation and mediation for long, long time now. Even in the time of kings and even before between tribes, these were techniques that were based on give and take to resolve bitter disputes. Disputes can turn into ugly spats between individuals and even between big entities like companies and even nations. Nations have gone into wars for the settlement of their disputes that have resulted in loss of property and lives which is why the methods of negotiation and mediation are preferred by people. Because of similarities, people confuse between negotiation and mediation, but there are subtle differences that will be highlighted in this article.
When you go to market to buy a product and feel the asking price to be bit higher, you negotiate and try to bring it down so that it is within your range. So negotiation takes place between 2 people where both lose something and settle for less than what they desire. If there is a dispute about sharing of paternal property between two brothers, negotiation is an ideal way to settle the dispute as this is a give and take approach where both parties give some and get some to settle finally at a level somewhere in between. When two parties are unable to resolve their dispute, negotiation is an alternative dispute resolution technique that is designed to resolve conflict so that the matter does not go before courts for resolution. Negotiation is a type of bargain where carrot and stick is used to make parties settle their differences.
Mediation is another conflict resolution technique where a trained person is involved in the process, and he helps warring factions to come to a conclusion or consensus so as to resolve an issue. Mediator has to be an impartial person having nothing at stake in the conflict between the two or more parties and his decision must be acceptable to all parties involved. During mediation, both parties are given the opportunity to present documents and evidences in relation with their claims and mediator also summons witnesses to buttress the claims. Mediator encourages parties towards a settlement, but when that is not possible, he makes a verdict to clear the impasse.
What is the difference between Negotiation and Mediation?
• Both negotiation and mediation are alternative dispute resolution techniques with differences
• In negotiation, parties work together to resolve the dispute and adopt a policy of give and take to settle at less than their demands
• In mediation, a third party who is neutral and impartial, is employed to resolve the dispute and his verdict is binding upon both parties to clear the impasse.
• In negotiation, parties meet each other while, in mediation, mediator meets parties individually or jointly to settle the dispute