Settle Your Business Disputes With One of These Four Options

Finding efficient methods to resolve commercial disputes is essential because they are now ubiquitous in the business world. There are four options for resolving business problems when disputes arise in all levls, between businesses and their partners, or vendors and customers. In order to increase the likelihood that the disputes will be resolved in the best way possible, business owners would need a complete understanding of these options and methods.

What are the four options for setting business disputes?

Direct Negotiations

Compared to the other methods, this is the east expensive one. It is a good starting point, but might not be the best option in the long run. For business owners, it is equally important to be willing to see the issue from the other person's perspective and to know specifically what they want to achieve through negotiation. It requires negotiators be able to observe, listen and ask productive questions. A negotiation will not be successful without excellent communication skills.


Just like direct negotiation, mediation involves discussion. However, in this second option, the conversation is facilitated by a third party neutral that is agreed upon by both parties. Because the mediator guides the process, there is less need for the business owner to possess the strong communication skills required in direct negotiation. Instead of encouraging a winner-or-loser atmosphere, the goal of mediation is to find a resolution that works for both parties. The mediator helps both sides of the dispute reach a mutually beneficial outcome, but he or she has no decision-making authority.


Arbitration is often compared to mediation, but is different in many ways. In addition to focusing on creating a winner and a loser, arbitration is also is usually more expensive and time-consuming than mediation. In this process, a neutral arbitrator hears both sides of a dispute and levies a decision which might be legally binding for one or both parties involved. Many businesses often use their understanding of arbitration to their advantage in dealing with partners and customers. They avoid taking disputes to court by creating mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts.


Litigation is often the final option for resolving a business dispute. It is the ultimate win-lose scenario and all but guarantees someone will walk away from the dispute unhappy with the outcome. Litigation's status as a last resort in resolving disputes often stems from it time -consuming and expensive nature. When disputing parties take an issue to court, they are pitted against each other in front of a judge who will determine the outcome. Although there is a guaranteed resolution, it will likely destroy the likelihood of a relationship once the matter is settled.

If you are contemplating mediation to resolve a dispute, John S. Preston can help you determine the best course of action. As an attorney and mediation professional who has practiced law for over 35 years in California, John can serve you as an expert arbitrator and mediator. Call 510-763-9131 or go to for more information.

This article was published on 15 Aug 2014 and has been viewed 490 times
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