Cost-effectiveness is critical if mediation is to deliver.
For this (and other) reasons, Mediation is increasingly being done online with sophisticated and secure video conferencing.
Getting all parties, possibly their attorneys, and a Mediator together in one room at the same time can be tricky.
This is especially the case with international, provincial or even intercity, and costly in terms of money, disruption, and time.
Online mediation functions in much the same way as ‘live’ mediation.
All parties are online at the same time; watching and listening to others talking or speaking themselves. One of the parties may be placed on hold by the Mediator (only) to confer briefly in private with the other.
When everyone is ‘in session’ at the same time, this is known as Synchronous Online Mediation. Online Mediation can also be Asynchronous – where participants work around their schedules. Most often it is a combination of the two.
Online meetings and dialogue gave birth to Asynchronous Mediation which contributes to the overall prospects of success of online mediation in general, along with other valuable benefits:
If the tension between disputants is so uncomfortable as to compromise progress, they don’t have to ‘face off’ in the same room.
Private dialogue with the mediator can take place, and the other party doesn’t have to hang around kicking their heels until that caucus is done.
It gives the mediator and the parties the opportunity to contemplate, or consult with peers on the best way forward.
All parties have time to advance the prospects of win-win outcomes.
Prepare responses with due consideration.
Reflect on the matter.
‘Reality check’ options such as establishing the cost of litigation.
Properly consider their ‘Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement’ – or BATNA.
Mediating Online should always be a consideration!
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict ~ William Ellery Channing