What is mediation?
In mediation, an independent and impartial third person helps the people involved in a conflict to have a constructive conversation, and to work towards an agreement on how to get beyond the dispute, and move forward.
Mediation is a different way of sorting out a dispute, a step away from formal procedures like courts or hearings. It’s flexible, it’s informal, and it’s off the record. You get time to air your views, feelings and concerns, and to listen to what the other person has to say, all in a safe and confidential space. My role is to help you to have the conversation you need to have, in order to find the best way forward. I help you come to your own solutions as participants. This may seem strange if you’re new to the process, but it works. Most mediations are successful. Participants reach agreements and find ways forward, sometimes when they’ve least expected it.
How can it help me, or help my business?
Conflict is a healthy part of everyday life and work. But when it becomes ingrained, stuck and unresolved, there are huge costs. This can be simply financial- not moving forward with a project, not getting the job done- but so often the personal and emotional costs are as important.
When neighbours, work colleagues or family members are struggling with a disagreement, it can be massively stressful, with an impact far beyond the individuals directly involved. When temperatures are running high it can be hard or seem impossible to have a straightforward discussion on how to solve it.
That’s where mediation comes in. A professionally trained mediator can enable that discussion to be had, and to encourage a constructive road towards resolution. The savings can be large, both the quantifiable things like reduced sick leave or legal costs, but also the relief of stress and simply being able to get on with life and work free of the conflict.
Do you come up with the solutions and write the agreements?
People often choose to make a written agreement at the end of the mediation process, and I can guide you in how to do this. But it’s not the mediator’s role to advise on how to solve the problem, or to write the content of agreements. I help you come to your own solution.
What does it mean to say it’s ‘off the record’ and ‘without prejudice’?
Although I keep basic notes as an aide memoire during mediations, I shred these at the end of the process. Usually the only record is any written agreement you make at completion. ‘Without prejudice’ means that what’s discussed in a mediation can’t be brought up later in any formal process. This all frees you up to be open and honest about the realities of the situation without fear of formal consequences.
What professional standards do you work to?
I follow the European Code of Conduct for Mediators, available here.
What’s the process, what’s involved?
I make initial contact with participants, establishing agreement to the mediation process, and confidentiality in particular. I then arrange to meet with participants on a 1-1 basis, to get a grasp of their perspective on the situation. Then we have a joint mediation meeting. Here, both people get uninterrupted time to talk whilst the other person listens. I then work with them to find some basis for common ground, and if possible, to reach agreement. Depending on the circumstances, and what works best for participants, I can either arrange 1-1 meetings in advance, or do both the 1-1 meetings and the joint meeting on the same day.
Do you do online or face to face mediations?
Both. I’m happy to facilitate mediations face to face, either by travelling to you, or at a neutral venue which I’m happy to arrange. Having said that, it’s really worth considering online mediation. It’s convenient for you, and can be very effective.
How much does it cost?
This depends on the type of mediation and the setting. An initial discussion helps me to advise on how much time will be needed- usually either a whole day, or half a day in some cases. This determines the cost, which is typically between £500 to £1000. The cost is either met by the relevant organization (for instance in a workplace mediation), or split equally between the people involved.
What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the service?
I encourage you to give me a ring so I can address your concerns directly. If you have continuing concerns, our complaints policy is accessible here.