It is often a disappointment to me that reconciliation rarely happens in commercial mediation. One of the benefits that we tend to identify when we are marketing mediation is the possibility of restoring fractured relationships, but it rarely happens in my experience. Perhaps it does afterwards, without my knowledge. Perhaps settling a dispute enables the parties to settle and start to see each other as human beings again.
Anyway, I had a mediation a few weeks ago where the parties were reconciled – or at least the process started as the mediation ended. It was a dispute between a mother and her two sons over her estate, which she had signed over to them, but now wanted back. The sons were concerned that their mother had been subjected to outside influence, causing her to change her mind. It promised to be a harrowing mediation but in fact it was sorted with good grace and the mother and her two sons went into a room alone for a little while, when the settlement had been agreed and signed, and came out smiling. That made me smile too!
We are in the business of making people’s lives better.