1. When is hiring a mediator better than taking no action?
Almost always, as if a dispute exists it usually does not simply "go away" by doing nothing, rather, the opposite usually happens. A skilled mediator can help the parties bridge the gap between their respective positions and a solution that both sides can live with, especially when the alternative is time and finance consuming litigation. Mediated agreements generally take on the form of what the parties want for their individual situation, rather than having a cookie-cutter solution be imposed on them by an arbiter, such as a judge or jury.
2. Why is hiring a mediator better than taking action on my own?
Oftentimes, a professional mediator, through training and experience, is able to spot solutions to problems which the parties themselves are unaware exist, or can turn a party's opponent's obstacles into opportunities. The objective outsiders viewpoint is very helpful in problem-solving the way through the confrontation, no matter what such problem may be.
3. How will I ensure that hiring a mediator doesn't increase the hassle of this conflict?
The process of mediation, generally an informal one, is itself designed to remove the difficulties inherent in litigation, i.e. the "hassle" of being involved in a lawsuit. By it's very nature, lawsuits are strictly formal, abrasive, cumbersome and irritating - often hard to understand. By contrast, in mediation, the parties are given the opportunity to speak, to represent their view of the problem they feel they are facing, and to also learn the thought process behind the other sides viewpoint of the same set of circumstances. What usually happens is, when both sides are honest and open about the circumstances facing them both and their individual viewpoints on them, the outside perspective is able to either spot or fashion a solution which meets the needs of both sides, while reducing each side's potential "loss".