Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Resolve your conflicts with mediation. Use breakthrough skills and methods to design your agreement out of conflicts and differences that seemed too great to fix.
Conflict resolution happens by means of a number of professional processes. One such process is mediation. Another is Divorce Coaching and Collaborative Law. Still another process involving conflict resolution, in part, is Marriage Couple and Family Counseling Therapy. Mediation is described below.
Mediation is a process whereby a third person—a professional mediator—helps two people (sometimes more) to take a journey of communication from a place of conflict, disagreement and discord to cooperation, agreement and harmony. Mediation is used for divorced or divorcing parents, business partners, employees in a business or agency, and many other situations. Since I wrote my doctoral dissertation on conflict resolution, it is a process with which I am completely familiar. Below, on this page, are six of the major steps of phases in the process I use.
Offered to clients in the Seattle, Washington area, these processes bring about agreement effectively in most cases. These processes of conflict resolution are an emotionally rewarding and cost-saving way to get voluntary agreements out-of-court rather than involuntary rulings in court.
"These processes of conflict resolution are an emotionally rewarding and cost-saving way to get voluntary agreements out-of-court rather than involuntary rulings in court."
"Pro Se" or Representing Yourself in Court
I often work with clients who are representing themselves, an approach to court called "pro se" by attorneys and judges. This sometimes reduces the costs. For example, divorcing couples may prepare their own documents from those recommended by the state where they live. I work with them through mediation to forge an agreement regarding property, children and other details. I also help them find the forms, and provide guidance in filling them out. I usually recommend that an attorney for one of them at least go over the final documents before they are filed with the court.
Emotionally Charged Conflicts
I work frequently with emotionally charged situations, such as a painful divorce. By sorting out the problems from the underlying emotions, couples can end up working through their conflicts, even if they are emotionally charged, with an effective mediation process.
How You as an Individual Will Benefit
Mediation for families, groups or companies is a process for creating agreements between people in conflict. Whether to prevent a divorce, to finalize a parenting plan, or to settle other differences, the mediation process will help you to turn differences into agreements.
How Your Family or Organization Will Benefit
In situations when families disagree, or are going through a divorce, most of the time all the members will benefit from Values Based Mediation, especially children. That's because if differences can be settled and win/win decisions can be made, not only are problems solved, but also, the adults set a good example of problem solving for the children. The same applies to other groups such as business partners or a team of any kind. All employees and customers benefit when business leaders resolve conflicts, create agreements and learn skills to prevent and/or resolve future conflicts.
What Does Mediation Cost?
The fees for mediation are normally $100 per person, per hour.
Sometimes I may recommend individual sessions in preparation for joint sessions. The first joint session is a minimum of two hours. Also, I may recommend additional follow up family mediation sessions depending on progress in the first one.
Is Mediation the Same as Therapy or Counseling?
No. I also offer individual and family counseling, but the process of family mediation is different and the goals are different. Family counseling is focused on health and in-depth, therapeutic change, while mediation is quicker, and focuses on particular issues to be agreed upon.
• Creating win/win/win agreements for you, the other person and others effected by your agreement.
• Improved communication in your family or group.
• Greater satisfaction with relationships
• Greater confidence in your ability to deal with any conflict, disagreement or differences with others.
How You Will Pursue Agreement
In the privacy of his office, I will help you through the process of family mediation. This is a process that involves intense listening to one another, the expression of problems and grievances, the formulation of goals, developing options, and making decisions to achieve those goals in such a way that each participant is satisfied. Then each person implements the agreement.
Six Mediation Steps
1. PREPARATION: Formulate your ideas, problems, goals and hopes ahead of time and at the first session. It is often helpful to write down what is important to you and give it to the mediator before or at the first session.
2. OPEN COMMUNICATION: The desired atmosphere for mediation is one of open communication, building trust and careful listening.
3. PROBLEMS, GOALS AND VALUES: The participants express their problems, their goals and their values while being heard by the others.
4. OPTIONS: If ways of solving problems, achieving goals and fulfilling values are not known right away, then the group generates options for doing so.
5. DECISIONS: Using the options, the group decides how to go forward in a way that satisfies everyone.
6. ACTION & FOLLOW UP: The group implements the decisions they make and follow up effectively
For more information about these processes, see this chart at my leadershipproject.net website: Values Based Leadership (VBL) Flowchart One. There, look under Leadership Behaviors > Negotiation and Mediation.