Have questions about how our mediation and conflict coaching services work? Read below to have your questions answered.
Mediation is a dispute resolution tool. It is based on the principle that people are capable of resolving their disagreements if given the right support. It is non-adversarial and the parties agree that all information will be shared in a safe, neutral environment.
During a mediation, the parties work in good faith to resolve their conflict, and the process allows them to craft an agreement that best suits their interests.
The mediators do not judge who is right or wrong but work with both parties to ensure their needs are met.
Mediation is a voluntary process and, after informing the mediators, parties can withdraw or choose not to participate at any time.
Helen Collins has a Master of Conflict Resolution degree from La Trobe University. She is a nationally accredited mediator under the National Mediation Standards and is a member of Resolution Institute (the national peak body for mediators) and VADR (the Victorian association for mediators).
The mediator will contact each party and ask them a series of questions to assess whether mediation will be helpful in resolving their conflict. During mediation intake, the mediator will explain the mediation process and answer any questions the parties may have.
Mediation intake may take between 45 and 90 minutes.
After the mediator completes the mediation intake with each party (and support people if they are attending), they will organise a date, time and venue for the mediation.
The parties (and support people if they are attending) and the mediator must sign a mediation agreement before the mediation can take place.
Signing the mediation agreement confirms that everyone attending the mediation is aware of:
- The role of the mediator
- Confidentiality provisions
- The ability of parties to withdraw at any time
- The ability of the mediator to terminate the mediation if they deem it is not productive
- The legal status of the mediation
- The mediator’s disclosure statement that they are unaware of a prior relationship with the parties
- Exclusion of liability and indemnity for the mediator.
The mediation will begin with everyone attending the mediation signing the mediation agreement.
Then the mediator will guide the parties through a series of steps:
- Opening statement from the mediator: the mediator will describe the process, discuss confidentiality and remind the parties that the process is voluntary and that they can ask for a break at any time
- Parties’ statements: each party outlines the issues they believe have led to the conflict
- Summaries of the issues: the mediator will summarise the issues mentioned by each party to ensure their views have been accurately captured
- Development of an agenda: the mediator and the parties will develop an agenda that incorporates the issues the parties have raised
- Exploration of topics: the mediator will encourage the parties to discuss each item on the agenda to ensure all issues are thoroughly canvassed
- Private sessions: the mediator will meet with each party separately to check on their progress and to encourage them to develop options to resolve their issues. Nothing that is discussed in these sessions will be disclosed to the other party
- Joint negotiation session: both parties offer their options to resolve the conflict
- Agreement and closure: parties develop an agreement.
It is impossible to predict how long a mediation will take with any degree of precision as each mediation is different. However, it is useful to allow three hours to work through the process. Although this may seem a long time, usually the conflict has become quite entrenched before mediation is attempted and adequate time must be given to discuss all the issues.
Conflict coaching is a dispute resolution tool. It is a structured process that helps individuals to enhance their skills, knowledge and competence in managing interpersonal conflict.
Conflict coaching is based on the principle that people are capable of resolving their disagreements if given the right support. Throughout this process, individuals gain an increased awareness of themselves and their choices in managing conflict.
Conflict coaching is a voluntary process and coachees can withdraw or choose not to participate at any time.
Helen Collins has a Master of Conflict Resolution degree from La Trobe University. She is a nationally accredited mediator under the National Mediation Standards and is a member of Resolution Institute (the national peak body for mediators) and VADR (the Victorian association for mediators). Helen is also an accredited CINERGY™ Conflict Coach.
The coach will contact the coachee and ask them a series of questions to assess whether conflict coaching will be helpful in resolving their conflict. During conflict coaching intake, the coach will explain the conflict coaching process and answer any questions the coachee may have.
Then the coach and the coachee will organise a mutually convenient date, time and venue for the first conflict coaching session.
Conflict coaching intake may take between 30 and 45 minutes.
The coach and the coachee sign the conflict coaching agreement before the first conflict coaching session.
Signing the conflict coaching agreement confirms that the coachee is aware of:
- The role of the coach
- The role of the coachee
- Confidentiality provisions
- Provisions for booking further sessions
- The voluntary nature of the process.
Conflict coaching will begin with the coach and coachee signing the conflict coaching agreement.
Then the coach will guide the coachee through a series of steps:
- Clarify the goal: You will explore what you want to achieve in coaching. This will focus the process
- Ask about the situation: You will describe what interaction precipitated the conflict
- Discuss the elements of the conflict: You will increase self-awareness and confirm or reassess your goals
- Explore choices: You will explore possibilities before developing an action plan to reach your goals
- Reconstruct the situation: You will create, reconstruct and try out possible ways of managing the situation
- Examine the challenges: You will consider what challenges, if any, may get in the way of your plan
- Gain commitment: You will confirm your next steps and reflect on your learning.
Generally, conflict coaching sessions may last from between 45 to 60 minutes. Two or three sessions may be needed to work through all stages of the model.