Employment cases can present difficult problems for the parties, their attorneys, and the mediator. The employee often feels wronged, just like a spouse in a divorce case. The employer may think the employee is improperly seeking money they are not entitled to and concerned that a settlement could generate more litigation from other employees. The employee may have worked for the employer for years with good evaluations; yet the employer may feel the employee has always been difficult to deal with. These can present seemingly intractable problems.
Our last blog addressed the importance of using patience during a divorce mediation. Divorce mediations necessarily take place over time since the parties need to come to terms with the emotional aspects of their decision making. Couples are most often (though not always) together in the same room, since a critical goal of divorce mediation, especially when there are children, can be enabling the parties to communicate after the divorce is over.
It is often unrealistic to expect patience from the couple. They may walk into the room angry, depressed, afraid, wanting to “get this thing over with,” or even seeking reconciliation. Or one side does. At a minimum, the parties have been unable to resolve whatever conflict caused the need for mediation in the first place. They have already spent time and money, much emotional energy, and experienced no shortage of aggravation.
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