The Small Business and Mediation

Much has been made in recent years of the "corporation as a person" that has allowed businesses to claim many of the rights and protections traditionally granted individuals. On a smaller scale, however, the distinction between a business and a person becomes much less abstract and much more concrete: Many small businesses in local communities are run by a single person, or a small group of people working in concert, like a family.

This has many implications when it comes to conflicts and conflict resolutions. Small businesses often lack the resources in terms of time and money to deal with disputes in the court room. And more importantly, the personal nature of the small business means that aggressive conflict resolution like litigation leaves them forced to deal with the consequences of that aggressiveness on a daily basis, making their dream of a successful business more of a nightmare.

Mediation Saves the Day

Mediation is being increasingly embraced by small businesses everywhere as the ideal means of conflict resolution. As a more personal and intimate process, it's ideally suited to the more personal and intimate nature of the small business. Instead of being lost in the huge and complicated world of the courts, mediation keeps everything human-scale - just people in a room trying to sort out their disagreements.

The Practical Side

Mediation also has several more practical benefits that make it appealing to small businesses:

• Costs: Mediation is almost always less costly than litigation, appealing to budget-conscious small business owners.

• Speed: Mediation is usually much faster than litigation, allowing small businesses to clear the air quickly and get back to work sooner.

• Privacy: Mediation is a confidential process between two parties, and thus, the information and discussion is completely private. Even if the mediation fails, nothing disclosed during the mediation can be used in court.

• Alternatives: Unlike arbitration, if no agreement can be reached mediation leaves open subsequent steps like litigation. This appeals to small businesses because they don't feel like one misstep can undo their goals.

Finally, the scale of mediation appeals to small businesses because mediators are human beings - just an individual with training and experience who helps guide a conversation. Small businesses don't have teams of lawyers or huge conference rooms - so the manageable size of mediation proceedings puts them in their comfort zone almost immediately.

For all of these reasons, mediation is quickly becoming the "go-to" solution for small business conflict resolution.

If you are looking for a mediator to mediate all kinds of disputes, please call Henry Abelman at 770-625-5010. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Henry Abelman is an experienced negotiator skilled at identifying issues, developing creative solutions and persuading agreements. Visit for more information.

This article was published on 06 Sep 2014 and has been viewed 619 times
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