One major benefit of mediation as compared to traditional negotiation is that it offers the parties an opportunity to communicate directly with each other. The safe environment allows the parties to share their interests, and gives them an opportunity to recognize and accommodate them in the agreement they arrive at together. Often the disagreements brought to mediation involve emotional, financial or factual issues, rather than legal principles, and these are generally better dealt with across a table than in a courtroom.
In addition, all parties to a mediation are bound by confidentiality. Knowing this encourages each participant to speak freely, and to identify their needs and interests as well as their optimal outcome.
Having a mediator who has insight, knowledge and expertise, along with a sense of integrity and the ability to be creative, will lead mediation participants to a satisfactory resolution through effective mediation.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Like collaborative law, the mediation process uses interest-based negotiations: the parties look beneath the surface to each party's goals, fears or concerns, all of which are referred to as interests.