Problem Solving and Dimensional Insight
Disputes in the personal space or business place are challenging and never about what they're about. They are personal, relational and emotional and transcend the narrow boundaries that legal context permits. In the hands of lawyers - even the best lawyers - they can too often be bound by the binary limitations of the court room: win/lose, good/bad, right/wrong, black/white, yes/no.
We in the neutral community who study this kind of thing know empirically that clients don't like the binary battle and its limitations, in large measure because the actual complexity of most, if not all disputes is so limited by litigation and its oversimplified "issue" battle. Trials simply don't permit the analysis, understanding and yes, finality necessary for durable resolution; something that provides disputants significantly more at the end of the process than holding their nose. Namely, giving warring parties control and understanding instead of having strangers writing the ultimate history of what happened, which may or more likely, may not resemble what really happened.
That's where mediation comes in: by providing the opportunity to view the complexity of the dispute and allowing a deeper look - more than just "done and on to the next case". For clients it renders what is usually long-awaited finality. For good lawyers it gives the opportunity to not only bring the clarity of their art to the table but also the chance to consider the complexity of the problems within the problem. For both, it allows a look at the myriad ways of how things may actually play out in the hands of strangers. What I refer to as Dimensional Insight. Seeing the multiple layers and planes and inter-connectivity, and...randomness and confusion...leads to not only better understanding of what happened but also what may happen if parties don't wrest control.
Perhaps most important, mediation allows everybody movement forward without a foot stuck in the concrete of past and future history and mystery.
My deep well of experience informs me that its isn't hard or fancy to do. It is simply what the best problem-solvers are capable of achieving when they are given the opportunity to employ their Dimensional Insight.