Whether labor law disputes, conflicts during contract negotiations or subsequent contract interpretations: Far too many conflicts unfortunately still end up before a court – and the parties involved all hope that they could best protect their interests there… . 

Today, we know that at least two thirds of all conflicts could be resolved in a different, better way for all parties involved if they were resolved through business mediation. A strong claim – but anyone who has experienced the success of mediation will wish they had known and used this method earlier! 

What actually is business mediation? We are often confronted with this question:

Business mediation is:

Negotiation! – Negotiation with two special features:

1:  A specially trained, neutral third party moderates.

2:  The course of the negotiation follows a special structure – a structure specified by the mediator, compliance with which is essential for the success of a   negotiation. 

This is (business) mediation!

The aim of professionally conducted business mediation is to find a solution together with the parties involved in the conflict. And a solution means a solution! 

Neither a compromise nor a conciliation or an arbitration award by a third party or a court is the aim here! And in particular, there is no dispute about “being right”!  At the end of a successful mediation, the parties very often say that they have worked out a viable and sustainable solution.

The advantages of business mediation are

1) Mediation makes consensus possible.
The solution is based on the real interests and needs of all those directly involved. No one wins at the expense of the other. 

2) Mediation is reliable.
The parties to the conflict stand behind the solutions they have worked out themselves. They conclude a legally binding agreement. 

3) Mediation is highly cost-effective.
80% or more of all mediations conducted lead to a solution to the conflict that is recognized by all parties. As a rule, mediation lasts no longer than one day. 

4) Mediation preserves confidentiality
The cause of the conflict and the mediation process as a whole remain strictly confidential. The public (in contrast to legal disputes) is not involved. 

All the advantages combined mean that solutions are found without losers!

I am increasingly being commissioned by my clients as a so-called “deal mediator” in contract negotiations, even though there is no conflict yet. Why? 

Thanks to my expertise as a business mediator and my many years of experience in negotiation situations, I am particularly suited to working out the respective interests of the negotiating parties as part of a moderation process and visualizing these in a suitable way for everyone. This enables the parties involved to recognize and understand the interests of the other negotiating party. And only this makes an “agreement” expressed by the persons concerned effective and powerful. Contracts that are concluded on a “win-win” basis last longer and are transformed into economic success with greater commitment! 

A simple step that costs you nothing: Contractual mediation clause: 

I recommend to my clients with full conviction that a mediation clause should be included in all commercially relevant contracts, in particular, however, in employment/service contracts for senior executives and managing directors/board members as well as in all shareholder and company purchase agreements. By doing so, the contracting parties merely undertake to make a serious attempt to resolve the dispute by means of professional commercial mediation before a dispute is brought before a court. 

 Compromise is the enemy of a good solution!

Jürn Schmidt has fulfilled the requirements of the Certification Ordinance (ZMediatAusbV) of August 21, 2016 and has been able to use the title “certified mediator” since September 22, 2017.

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