What is mediation?Mediation is a confidential eight-step process facilitated by a qualified mediator in a neutral environment. Mediation works for people who want to explore every possible option before committing to an agreement that works for them.
Effects of conflictBeing in conflict is tiring, wastes time and costs money. Mediation allows people to agree on a solution that works for them, focus on the future and get on with their lives.
PreparationThere's no luck involved in making agreements that work. When people are well prepared for mediation they think logically and systematically, come up with realistic options and make agreements that work. There are some mediation mindset principles that will help you when you go into mediation:
- Remember the shared values and behaviours that brought you together
- Be open to understanding other people's needs and interests
- Be hard on problems and soft on people
My worksheets will help you go into mediation (or other tough conversations) confident and prepared. If you'd like free copies of my worksheets, e-mail me here.
Mediation is a confidential process that protects people's reputations and private information. Both parties sign an agreement to mediate that includes a confidentiality clause. Anything said during the mediation sessions cannot be repeated outside under any circumstances. In parenting mediations, anything said in the mediation is inadmissible in Court. Notes made during all mediations are destroyed at the end of the session.
The only documents that leave the mediation session and that can be used outside, are the agreement between the parties, my letter to employers or the 60i certificate (parenting matters only). If you are attending workplace mediation, I recommend that you don't discuss it with your colleagues.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation gives people control over how they will manage relationships in future. It allows them to agree on solutions rather than have them imposed by employers or Courts.
All mediations give the people involved a better understanding of the situation and each other, even if they don't end with a written agreement.
Courts and Tribunals should be treated as a last resort. The process is slow, expensive and stressful and the Courts are overloaded. Everyone loses control of the dispute once it goes to Court - the legal system is in charge and people end up with a binding agreement imposed on them by a third party.
Mediation is structured to help people make logical, informed agreements. Everyone has an obligation to disclose all relevant information at mediation.
The mediation process has two parts.
1. Intake sessions are held with each party. Sessions take about 20 minutes over the phone and cover three main things.
- The situation and background to the dispute
- Any factors indicating that the case is unsuitable for mediation
- Explain how the mediation session will be run.
2. The mediation session.
- Opening statements - mediator then each party
- Agenda setting
- Issues exploration
- Parties' private sessions with mediator
- Option generation
- Decision making
- Write and sign the agreement.
After workplace mediations, both parties sign the agreement. I will send the original copy of the agreement to the employer and copies to both parties.
After family mediations, both parties are given copies of the agreement. In some cases, people lodge the agreement with the Court to become a parenting order. Your solicitor will help you do this.
My involvement ends when the mediation session ends.
If workplace mediations don't result in an agreement, a letter is sent to the employer stating that an agreement was not reached. People then work with their employer to find other resolutions.
If parenting mediations don't result in an agreement, a section 60i certificate is issued. Each party takes it to their solicitor who will discuss legal options with them.
Regardless of the outcome, people always leave mediation with a good understanding of why they are in conflict and options for resolving it.
Preparing for mediation is crucial. It's important to understand the root cause of the conflict, which is usually not the problem that brought it to a head. It's also important to think about options for resolution that will work for you.
My worksheets will help you go into mediation (or other tough conversations) confident and prepared. If you'd like free copies of my worksheets, email me here.