You are! Mediation is driven by the parties involved. If both parties enter the process open to compromise, mediation can be an efficient way to solve problems.
If working directly with the other party does not solve the problem, a neutral mediator can become involved. Even then, the process is still driven by both parties. It is a step before arbitration or a lawsuit: both parties must agree to each compromise. A solution will not be imposed by the mediator unless both parties are in accord with it.
The mediator is not a judge or legal arbitrator. S/he does not weigh evidence to decide who is right or wrong.
The mediator works to help the parties focus on resolving their problem, not the emotions that go along with being in a dispute.
The mediator works to determine how each party would prefer to resolve the dispute, as well as the concerns of each.
The mediator can propose a solution if this is requested by both parties.
First, fill out the form on the CHEC website informing us of the problem and suggesting resolutions you prefer. You need to answer several question to make sure the dispute is appropriate for CHEC-sponsored mediation. CHEC will respond by email informing you if your complaint meets CHEC mediation guidelines. You must click on the link embedded in this email to verify and activate the mediation process.
When CHEC receives your confirmation, we will notify the other party of the dispute and direct them to the CHEC mediation link for your issue.
Then, both parties negotiate together using the confidential on-line discussion page. Each time you or the other party responds to a comment, both will be notified by email. Most disputes should end at this step, with a resolution that both parties can agree to. If the person initiating the complaint wishes to end the mediation process, s/he can do so at any time.
If either party responds in an abusive manner, CHEC can issue a warning about the inappropriate member to the exchange business to which both members belong.
If the parties cannot agree on a resolution but both agree to use mediation, CHEC will review the case. If appropriate, CHEC will make a referral to a third party mediator for free or low cost mediation.