Going through a dispute with a business partner can really feel like one of the biggest hurdles you will ever have to overcome.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available that can help you get the best possible outcome and avoid burning your bridges at the same time.
Mediators as referees in arguments
Harvard Law School looks into mediation in a business setting. Mediation generally refers to a scenario in which a mediator attends discussions between two or more arguing parties. They listen to everyone say their piece and help walk the parties through difficult topics or disagreements they have.
They offer unique opinions and a perspective no one else offers due to their position as a neutral third party with no real stakes in the matter. On top of that, they have professional experience and training in mitigating arguments, so they can help calm down a situation before it boils out of hand. They can also help ensure that everyone feels like they had a fair chance to speak their mind and get their points across.
What mediators cannot do
Mediators do not have legal control over a dispute, however. They cannot dictate how you and your partner should handle your dispute, nor can they create a legally binding decision that all parties must abide by in the way that judges and arbitrators can.
This is why it is important to view a mediator as a tool to help you, rather than a means to an end. You and your partner(s) should already have the basics that you need to work through the dispute on your own.