Legal disputes are costly, time consuming, emotionally draining, and not good for business. A business dispute is a business illness. If mild, you can work through it, but it still drags you down and impacts profits. If severe, a business dispute can destroy an entire business. Unfortunately, just as illnesses are an inevitable part of being human, disputes are an inevitable part of doing business. Learning how to effectively manage the disputes that arise is critical for business success.
Negotiation, mediation, and litigation are each potent processes for breaking down an impasse so that disputants can move from conflict to resolution. As with any tool, there are right and wrong times and ways to use it.
Negotiate, Mediate, or Litigate?
Litigation is often the most costly, time-consuming, and ineffective method for getting to resolution. It takes control of the dispute out of the hands of the business owner and gives it to a third party, such as a judge, arbitrator, or jury. This is not to say that litigation is bad and should be avoided in all cases. Litigation is appropriate when it is simply impossible to work through issues consensually. (more…)