Mediation is No Laughing Matter

A dispute in the family or business is a serious problem. Mediation is no exception. But there’s a room for humour at the right moment to lighten the mood, change the atmosphere and avoid other issues.

Experts recommend mediation when a conflict arises in the family or enterprise to get rid of high court fees and stress. Surprisingly, many couples and companies file their cases on the court right away. Aside from losing your savings, the experience can be traumatic to you and the children, as well.

After years of expensive fees, hard-fought litigation, and adversarial setting, couples and businesses end up choosing mediation after all. With the pressure and costs during litigation, can a mediator help? Depending on the expertise and years of experience, mediation can make a huge difference. Despite the conflict, a specialist needs to deploy humour to relieve the pressure. Of course, after costly court proceedings, clients are at a heightened emotion. With lightheartedness from a mediator, the setting will be light and comfortable.

Incorporating humour into the process can take various forms. Before anything else, the mediator should read the room to be effective. Sometimes, a joke can affect an expert’s credibility. It is important to do it at the right time. Perhaps, a line from a sitcom and an anecdote may be appropriate and useful. Click here to see our prices!

A good example of how a sense of humour becomes effective is written below:

A mediator had a recent experience where there were six individuals from a defence team to face off a plaintiff and an attorney. In the beginning, it was obvious that the council was anxious by defendant’s show of force.

In fact, the lawyer expressed his agitation and displeasure upon the departure of the defence team. He said that he couldn’t believe the number of people they brought. The mediator commented, “Were you expecting them to bring more?” While it might cause tension, it received a good laugh from the counsel and his client. The specialist also added that instead of viewing the attendees as a threat, consider it as a recognition that your client has a significant claim.

Rather than the tension that might preclude the resolution process, the case was settled at the end of the day.

However, a mediation expert must be careful when and how to incorporate humour into the process. A single mistake can lead to a backfire or a misperception. While an interesting war story or a personal anecdote permit the parties to take a breather, it’s necessary to make the diversion brief and relatable. Click here to see our FAQ!

Although other parties might appear interested, others hate mediators embark on non-sensical or irrelevant stories.

Always bear in mind that they are paying. So, short and meaningful entertainment can suffice.

Indeed, humour can play a critical role throughout the mediation. But it must be used with a purpose to fulfil a mediator’s ultimate goal. Keeping both parties engaged is the secret here to achieve the right settlement and resolution. As a specialist, employ other strategies to relieve the tension and put an end to a dispute.

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