You just went through a mediation session with your former landlord, a guy you thought you never could never come to an agreement with. You now sit there surprised and frankly just impressed that a signed agreement sits on the table in front of you both. How did you get from swearing you’d take your landlord to court and sue the pants off of him to now coming to an agreement in mediation?
Often times people who participate in mediation start at completely different places with little hope of ever resolving their dispute. However, as many people come to realize, the mediation session enables people to talk with each other in a way that enables them to find the common ground between them. Difficult emotions can be shared in a safe space under the guidance of a trained mediator and those emotions are put aside, temporarily or not, for the sake of reaching an agreement.
In a 2014-2015 annual report published by the New York State Unified Court System, 74% of all cases conciliated, mediated, and arbitrated at Community Dispute Resolution Centers resulted in mutual agreements or final decisions. More recently, a 2015-2016 report shows that that success rate has increased to 75.2%. In matters involving the custody visitation divorce where emotions very often fly high, New York State saw an 81% dispute resolution rate in 2015-2016 alone. Regarding landlord tenant and other housing matters, New York State saw a whopping dispute resolution rate of 83%. Moreover, while there aren’t statistics regarding the emotions of the people involved in mediation, one can only imagine how many of these cases involved bad feelings. Nevertheless, the percentages speak to the fact that when individuals leave aside their personal feelings, temporarily or not, agreements come to fruition.
People come into a mediation session not sure what to expect but also holding onto the emotions that resulted in a disagreement. Tempers flare, insults may be thrown, accusations hurled, and everyone is pointing fingers at each other. However, by the end of the mediation session the majority of people, as shown above, walk away with an agreement in their hand and have mended the fences. People who mediate can reach an agreements, but many do so only after being able to leave their troubled emotions behind. So the next time you’re in a conflict with your landlord or anyone else where emotions are high, remember that beyond bad feelings lies successful mediation.