Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process in which a trained, impartial person helps people examine their disagreement, identify and consider options and carefully consider possible resolutions. A mediator has no decision-making authority. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, a mediator does not decide what is “right” or force a decision on either party.
PACA provides a neutral setting with a trained PACA mediator who helps the parties work out a solution that meets the interests of both sides. Each party is given the opportunity to explain his/her point of view, what the dispute is about, what the issues are, and how he/she would like to see the situation resolved. After each side has presented information, the mediator clarifies the issues in neutral language that focuses on the issues, not the people involved. The process promotes calm and rational discussion in order to identify goals and construct a plan that will benefit all parties.
The mediation process provides a non-threatening, informal procedure as an initial step in resolving conflicts. Mediation provides the following benefits:
- Participants control the outcome
- Mediation is forward-looking
- Mediation can preserve and strengthen business relationships
- Mediation is confidential
- Mediation is likely to be successful