MEDIATION & FACILITATION SERVICES
Our professional team is led by Michael Walker, a professional mediator, arbitrator, facilitator and coach. Michael and his team are trained in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods. An Alternate Dispute Resolution through a collaborative/facilitative process can generate a mutually acceptable agreement that also has the ability to restore and preserve a business or personal relationship. An ADR process will also provide a framework for you to control costs, meet deadlines, manage outcome, strategize publicity and last but not least avoid the stress conflict often produces.
Our Mediation and Facilitation team works with public and private organizations, partnerships and individuals. Areas where our Mediation services can be of assistance includes; business disputes, contract disputes, construction lien claims, collections, real estate-based disputes, creditor’s and debtor’s rights, franchising, leasing, lender liability, employment issues, shareholder and director disputes.
Areas where our Facilitation services can be of assistance include; Strategic planning, mergers and reorganizations, workplace concerns, workplace wellness and restoration, group participation, succession planning, project partnering, and traditional and customized training.
Below are some common questions that we are asked as it relates to Mediation and Facilitation.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process provided by a neutral third party to assist two or more parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Parties to mediation meet privately with the mediator to resolve their dispute on their own terms, rather than a judge or arbitrator making a decision after hearing evidence.
How Can Mediation Help?
If you have a potential dispute or ongoing conflicts, mediation may be the answer. Mediation can be used whether or not the parties have already started another process such as a court action.
The Benefits of Mediation
Mediation is normally less expensive than going to court. Mediation can also be more expeditious than the court process for resolving conflict. Where court action provides a win/lose or lose/lose outcome, mediation is based on self-determination and you willingly participate in the resolution of your dispute. Accordingly getting to a mutually acceptable agreement is the goal and therefore a win/win outcome. This win/win outcome also helps preserve the relationship with the other party which is significant in terms of valued customers, suppliers, business associates, parents or spouses. Finally the mediation process is a confidential process where the court process is not. You can keep your situation private.
The Mediation Process
The mediator will help you to resolve your problem so that you are the decision-maker. The mediator will be very intentional about protecting your right to self-determination. Your mediator will use a seven step framework for the mediation process:
Interests: Considering the underlying interests of each party
Options: Exploring alternatives for settlement
Assessment: Assessing alternatives for settlement
Legitimacy: Looking at objective criteria as it relates to options
Communication: Considering how the workable options will work
Relationships: What needs to be addressed to protect the relationships
Contracting: Reaching, drafting, and executing final agreement
The mediator assists the parties in a conflict resolution process which focuses on understanding the issues, unpacking the underlying interests of the participants, exploring options or alternatives that satisfy the party’s needs with an eye to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement that is their Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). The process is rooted in fairness, privacy, self-determination and the best interests of both parties. A mediator ensures that the participants reach agreement freely, voluntarily, without undue influence, and on the basis of informed consent in a collaborative fashion that can protect the relationships.
Where there are legal disputes, parties to mediation are strongly advised to obtain independent legal counsel, preferably before mediation commences and in any event before a final agreement is reached. Mediators do not provide legal advice or professional opinions but may provide general information for the parties.
What is Facilitation?
Facilitation is a less structured third party process that enables groups and organizations to reach common ground, work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy.
How Can Facilitation Help?
Facilitation services by an impartial professional are effective when the prevention or management of conflict is the objective rather than the resolution of a specific dispute.
The Benefits of Facilitation
By retaining a professional Facilitator you are able to design a process with the facilitator that responds to timing, costs, participation and outcome. The facilitator will be seen as relative neutral outside party who will be more effective at engaging participants and developing buy in. Our professional facilitators are very effective at gathering a large divergence of positions/views/ideas and be able to distill them down into a workable framework to move forward on. They are experts at asking great questions and maximizing participant’s engagement and input.
Our facilitators can also present challenging positions that management may be exploring in a way that premature conflict is avoided. They are also experts at overcoming conflict that does arise in a way that it protects the relationships and the organization’s brand. Through traditional or customized training our facilitators can introduce processes that can help prepare an organization for upcoming changes.
Our Professional Facilitators are excellent at team building and in the use of mediation to resolve workplace disputes that cost time and money. Organizations perform better when they build skills in communication and conflict resolution and engage staff in processes of change. Our facilitators are experts in helping build these skills.
Our Mediation and Facilitation services provide effective and affordable methods to resolve workplace conflict now, and to build capacity for addressing latent conflict. We help organizations; public or private improve their bottom line in terms of protecting relationships, empowering fairness and improving profitability. Often our clients find that developing a Conflict Management System becomes a significant part of taking the organization to where they want to go.