Aside from arbitration, employment mediations are the most used mode of alternative dispute resolution process to solve conflicts in the workplace. However, unlike arbitration where there is a winner or a loser, mediation aims to make both sides happy with the resolution.

In employment mediation, the opposing parties are tasked to come up with the resolution that is acceptable to both sides.Each party presents an offer and a counter offer until an agreement is reached. This way, both parties come out not feeling taken advantaged of and may even have good feelings for the other party after mediation.

However, feeling you were not taken advantaged of does not mean that you actually weren't taken advantage of. There are a lot of instances where an employee gets the short end of the agreement because they lacked information or was just generally unprepared.

To avoid that, here are some tips that you can follow before entering employment mediation:

Get a lawyer.
Although the process is far from being a trial, you would still need someone who has knowledge of existing federal and state employment law.
Mediation is a controlled form of negotiation but a negotiation none the less.
And in negotiations, you always need leverage over the other party.
A person knowledgeable with existing employment laws can give you that edge so that you will not be short changed in the process.

Know your case.
Even if you have a lawyer at hand, it is still important for you to know the details of your case.
Know your and the opposing party's arguments so that you can contribute on how to get the best resolution on the case.

Know your goal and set a minimum.
What is it that you want to get from the mediation process?
Before entering employment mediation, you should have a definite goal on what you want to achieve.
You should also set a minimum on what you are willing to accept.
To resolve a conflict by mediation, compromises have to be made and you may have to give up some of your conditions.

Empathize with the other party.
Mediation is a process that looks for resolution that is acceptable to both parties.
That is why understanding the other party's interests, goals and perspective will help getting to that resolution faster.
By understanding the other party, it would be easier to come up with proposals that would be acceptable to them but still being able to meet your own conditions.