Few construction projects here in California or elsewhere reach an end without at least one disagreement among the parties involved. Most of them are resolved without becoming larger issues, but when the dispute reaches a point where it stops work, no one wins. The longer an issue continues, the more the project and everyone’s profits are jeopardized. The best solution to a dispute may be to stay out of court.
Mediation could provide the answer. Sometimes disputes grow out of control due to the dynamics among the people involved. The more emotional the parties are, the less likely they are to reach an agreement without help. When an issue becomes too big to resolve alone, and the parties do not want to head down the road to litigation, having a neutral third party to assist with the resolution process could help reach an agreement satisfactory to everyone involved and could help get the project back on track quicker.
A good mediator can help diffuse the tension among the parties and give them the freedom they need to voice their opposing opinions, express what kind of resolution they would like to see and stay on track toward resolving the issue. Each party’s views on the dispute deserve to be heard without interruption and with the other party taking the time to listen to the other person’s concerns. In some cases, a simple miscommunication caused the issue, and once everyone has the chance to tell his or her side of the story without interruption or emotion, the actual problem, if any, can be narrowed down and dealt with.
Mediation can be a powerful tool and the best solution to a dispute when the parties want to preserve their working relationship and move forward with the project. The longer a construction site sits without work being done, the longer and more expensive the development becomes. It is often in everyone’s best interest to find a way to work out the issue without the time, money and effort of litigation.