In as much as sports can bring spectators and athletes together, unaddressed and unresolved disputes can lead to irreparable divisions, loss of finances, bitter rivalries, and even dismantling of entire teams. Whether the conflict exists between members of the board of directors, between coaches, or between the athletes, before things go badly awry, investing in mediation to resolve these disputes is undeniably beneficial.
Firstly, mediation involves a neutral, third-party intervention in disputes and negotiations to help two disputing parties come to a mutual agreement. Using this method of conflict resolution has become a common, easy choice in the workplace and for divorce settlements, for example. However, it remains an underused tool in the sports sector despite its benefits.
Essentially, utilising mediation in sport ensures that both parties emerge triumphant as winners. It is always a win-win situation. Both parties mutually agree after private facilitated negotiations on a solution that benefits them both. A trained neutral mediator ensures that this process and its eventual solution is indeed a fair and mutually agreed.
It’s also noteworthy to highlight the confidentiality of these negotiations and disputes. The mediation process facilitates a safe space where disputing parties can come to an agreement without the involvement or influence of unnecessary parties, such as agents or fans.
This also facilitates open communication between disputing parties, ensuring that before agreements are made, all parties understand and agree to the solutions that will help to move the team forward. As such, mediation can be seen to foster trust and a better working relationship between all members of the sporting industry.
Considering the West Indies cricket team’s ever-evolving dispute with the WICB (West Indies Cricket Board) for example, employing mediation techniques to facilitate better communication between the two disputing parties could have led to beneficial, fair agreements that lets all parties feel confident that they are getting the best possible result in the given circumstances. Not just that, mediation is essentially a faster, simpler, more cost-effective way to make sure everyone becomes passionate team players once more.
T&T’s own Dispute Resolution Centre offers reputable experienced mediators trained to find the best solutions within the sporting sector.