Information

Mediation and Conflict Coaching

Information and FAQs

Mediation is a way of resolving conflict that allows the parties to craft an agreement that will benefit both of them and avoid conflict occurring in the future.

Mediator’s role

During the mediation, the mediator will remain impartial and non-judgemental. Their role is to facilitate the process of issue clarification, communication and problem solving, and they work to ensure the parties are free to negotiate collaboratively without fear or coercion affecting their ability to reach an acceptable agreement.

Party’s role

The parties are responsible for resolving their dispute, and they have an obligation to provide full and frank disclosure. Any information you disclose is treated confidentially and cannot later be used in a court. Mediation allows you to:

  • Raise issues
  • Listen to the other party
  • Be clear on what you can give and take
  • Focus on the future
  • Show you are prepared to reach a reasonable agreement, if this can be done
  • Be willing to express regret or apologise, if this is appropriate.
Mediation intake

The mediator will contact both parties to complete mediation intake. The mediation intake will be conducted separately with each party. During the mediation intake, the mediator will:

  • Outline the mediation process
  • Ask questions to gain an understanding of your issues and willingness to mediate
  • Give you the opportunity to ask questions.

Mediation intake also allows the mediator to determine if mediation is appropriate and prepare each party for mediation.
Mediation agreement

Prior to the mediation, the mediator will also provide parties with a mediation agreement that will outline confidentiality provisions and list the time and venue for the mediation.

The mediator and parties must sign this document before the mediation can take place.

Mediation process

When mediation commences, the process has a number of stages:

  • Opening statement from the mediator: the mediator will describe the process, discuss confidentiality and remind parties that the process is voluntary and that they can ask for a break at any time. The mediator will also outline appropriate behaviour during the mediation
  • Parties’ statements: each party will be given the opportunity to outline the issues they believe have led to the conflict
  • Summaries of 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, with 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. You can ask for a private session at any time
  • Joint negotiation sessions: both parties offer their options to resolve the conflict. The mediator will assist you to reality-test options and will document these when appropriate
  • Agreement and closure: parties develop an agreement.

You can a break at any time or for any purpose.

Confidentiality

Mediation is a confidential process with the exclusion of any sharing of information agreed by both parties.

The mediator will keep the content of the mediation confidential in all other circumstances, unless required by a court of law or the professional obligations below.

The mediator has an obligation to inform appropriate authorities about any credible disclosure of:

  • Child abuse
  • Disclosures relating to a serious threat to another person
  • Threats of self-harm.
Terminating the mediation

Any party can end the mediation at any time for any reason.

Release of information

The mediator may only release information at the end of the mediation in accordance with instructions agreed to by both parties. For example, the mediator may write up and email the points of agreement from your mediation session.

Neutrality and conflict of interest

The mediator must be neutral and impartial, which means they do not show bias in their words or behaviour towards you or the other party.

The mediator must disclose and discuss with you any real or potential conflict of interest that they become aware of and you should immediately raise any concerns you have; for example, if you believe the mediator will get a benefit from a specific outcome from the mediation.

Being informed

The mediator will make every effort to ensure both parties understand the implications and consequences of available options, such as taking legal action. You must tell the mediator if you don’t understand something.

You can request the presence or time out to speak with your advisors.

Making your agreement legally binding

An unsigned agreement reached during mediation is not legally binding. You should get legal advice regarding making the agreement legally binding.

Storage and disposal of records

profitableresolutions does not store notes and records from mediation with the exception of:

  • The agreement to mediate and any documents attached to it as indicated below
  • Any court orders or other documents you supply during the intake process
  • Any agreement reached during the mediation that you’ve asked the mediator to document.

There is a formal complaints process is available if you believe the mediator has breached any of these guidelines. The first step in the process is to email profitableresolutions@netspace.net.au

1. What is mediation?

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.

2. Do I have to take part in mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process and, after informing the mediators, parties can withdraw or choose not to participate at any time.

3. Who is the mediator?

Helen Collins has a Master of Conflict Resolution degree from La Trobe University. She is also national accredited under the National Mediation Standards and is a member of LEADR (the national peak body for mediators) and VADR (the Victorian association for mediators).

4. What is mediation intake?

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.

At the mediation intake, the mediator will also give each party a copy of the mediation agreement.

5. How long will it take to complete the mediation intake?

Mediation intake may take between 45 and 60 minutes.

6. What happens after the mediation intake?

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.

7. What is the mediation agreement?

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.
8. Can I bring a support person?

You can bring a support person but they must advise the mediator that they intend to do this so the mediator can contact the support person and discuss their role during the mediation.

Support people can attend the mediation but they can only participate during private session (see below for an outline of the mediation process).

8. What happens during mediation?

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.
9. How long does a mediation take?

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 structured process that helps individuals to enhance their skills, knowledge and competence in managing interpersonal conflict. It is a voluntary, confidential process that focuses on an individual’s conflict management goals.
Through this process, individuals gain an increased awareness of themselves and their choices in managing conflict.

The conflict coach’s role

The coach will:
• Support, assist and encourage you to reach your goals
• Meet with you on days and at times that are mutually convenient
• Guide the dialogue to ensure the process remains focused on your objectives and needs
• Provide constructive feedback and will not judge you in any way. However, a coach may ask you to consider things from a different perspective.
The coach will not provide advice, or act as your advocate or representative.

The coachee’s role

You should be:
• Willing and honest to share your goals and pertinent information
• Honest about your related concerns, expectations or needs
• Prepared to inform the coach if you are feeling any discomfort
• Ready to work on some things between sessions.

Conflict coaching intake

A coach will contact you to complete the conflict coaching intake. During the conflict coaching intake, the coach will:
• Outline the conflict coaching process
• Ask questions to gain an understanding of your issues
• Ascertain whether conflict coaching will meet your needs
• Give you the opportunity to ask questions.

1. What is conflict coaching?

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.

2. Do I have to take part in conflict coaching?

Conflict coaching is a voluntary process and coachees can withdraw or choose not to participate at any time.

3. Who is the coach?

Helen Collins has a Master of Conflict Resolution degree from La Trobe University. She is also national accredited under the National Mediation Standards and is a member of LEADR (the national peak body for mediators) and VADR (the Victorian association for mediators). Helen is also an accredited CINERGY™ Conflict Coach.

4. What is conflict coaching intake?

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.

5. How long will it take to complete the conflict coaching intake?

Conflict coaching intake may take between 30 and 45 minutes.

6. What is the conflict coaching agreement?

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.

8. What happens during conflict coaching?

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.

9. How long does conflict coaching session take?

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.