Take a Broader View Of What Mediation Accomplishes

thEven though conflicts don’t always resolve at mediation, it is far from true to say that those efforts don’t yield value! Parties who earnestly engage will walk away with more than they came with – be it a better understanding of facts or participants, a clearer sense of next steps, or even just a better rapport with the party sitting across from them.

At a recent mediation, a present employer-employee relationship was positive in every respect except how to reasonably accommodate the employee’s sensitivity to the office’s climate.  Accommodation options involved competing issues of health and comfort concerns by all affected.

The mediation provided a concentrated, methodical approach to dissecting the respective issues to balance – some realized and some simply feared – and identified resources that had not been contemplated before. The parties left with very practical alternatives to explore.

Just as importantly, the parties gained a fresh perspective on how the degree of their prior efforts and conclusions might be judicially viewed. In this case, this involved a thoughtful look at the basis for their respective impasse-causing confidences: the extent to which the interactive dialogue had been utilized, sincerely; reliability on matter of fact beliefs of entitlement; and whether these could satisfy the reasonableness standard.

In other words, the parties left with a far more objective take on their obstacles, a vision of how a less-than-ideal resolution could be legally mandated and, through that lens, a sense of such an option actually being manageable.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
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