Glad to see I am not the only one who thinks attorneys often sabotage the mediation process. Good attorneys encourage negotiation, exchange of ideas, and learning to communicate better. These skills are necessary for business, in family, with friends, and with all people in all situations. The faster you realize the empowerment these skills bring the more you will reap in your life. Good mediators can help open up and change the oppressive dynamic that litigation has encouraged in so many different types of cases. Furthermore, good mediators teach these skills through a participatory process that is fairly inexpensive and life-changing.
As this article points out, however, I too saw (and continue to see) my share of attorneys who intentionally disparage the mediation process and in effect continue to encourage people to stay polarized in their positions, stunted in their communication style, and limited in their ability to understand the power of negotiation and building relationships. Do not fall for that nonsense. You do not need a crutch all the time – because that is what an attorney becomes – a really expensive crutch. You need to realize that you have skills within yourself that can be brought out, sharpened, and then used to help you get what you need. Empower yourself and the next time you find conflict you cannot escape, seek out a facilitative process. The investment is small compared to the multiple outcomes you will reap once the skills are there.