Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Mediation and Conflict Resolution
LIFE Mediation and Conflict Resolution services are available to help resolve workplace issues and disputes in a confidential and impartial manner using an independent third party.
Prior to beginning mediation or any dispute resolution process we conduct an in-depth assessment of your individual needs.
The mediator’s role
The mediator’s role is to provide a structured process that assists people to identify the key issues, develop options and reach a resolution that satisfies their needs and interests. The mediator does not give advice or offer solutions.
Steps in the mediation process
Mediation involves a number of steps.
- Mediator Interviews the individuals involved
- Planning and Assessment
- Mediator’s Opening
- Parties Statements
- Mediator’s Summaries
- Agenda Setting
- Option Generation and Evaluation
The parties determine the content and outcome
The people involved in the mediation guide the content that is discussed and determine the outcome. The mediator guides the process.
Mediation is a future-focused forum. So while the past is discussed to assist people decide what they need, discussions largely focus on what they would like in the future.
The goal of mediation
The goal of mediation is to empower people to take responsibility for the situation and the resolution. People are encouraged to perspective-take and view the dispute within a broader context.
Models of mediation
There are a number of different models of mediation. We utilise a combination of facilitative, transformative and narrative mediation models throughout the mediation process. These different mediation models each have slightly different goals and methodology.
This is about facilitating communication between the parties so that they can gain an understanding of how each party perceives the issues. Once they have a clearer understanding of each others’ perspective the parties can move on jointly as problem solvers to look at the options for resolving the issues. When the parties have exhausted all the options they can begin to narrow them down to those that are workable and that both parties can live with. This model of mediation is best used for resolving simple transactional and workplace disputes.
This is about encouraging the parties to recognise each others’ perspectives and accept responsibility for the issues. The parties are empowered to move on to resolve the issues in the way they see best and to learn and grown fromtheir experience. This approach is best used for disputes involving ongoing relationships, where the parties need to consider future ways of relating to each other.
This approach is about story telling. The parties are encouraged to tell their story and to hear the other party’s story. Through the story telling and an incisive style of questioning, parties can gain insight into each other’s perspectives and values. We particularly encourage a rich dialogue at the initial one-on-one session to get to the heart of each individual’s story. This approach is useful for assisting people to understand their perception of the issues, as well as others’ perceptions. It assists people to develop alternative views and they begin to see the conflict in a new light. It is also helpful for getting to the heart of what the parties value.
We base our practice on positive psychology, strength-based and solution-focused techniques. These approaches and techniques are based on a new movement and focus in psychology towards individual’s strengths and virtues rather than attempting to “fix” what is “wrong” with them. We focus on leveraging people’s strengths to overcome challenges.
Using positive psychology we assist people to foster positive emotions in their lives. There are a number of well-researched evidenced-based ways of creating positive emotions. We assist people to resolve the issues and to feel more positive about the future. Positive psychology techniques are also used to promote self-care to counter the effects of stress associated with conflict.
The basis of our strength-based approach is to help clients identify their strengths and how they wish to apply them. The goal is to motivate clients to build and draw upon these strengths when facing challenges. This approach is particularly useful when clients are feeling de-motivated and filled with self-doubt.
Our solution-focused approach means that we focus on future solutions rather than past problems. We reflect upon the past only for lessons learnt and to determine the focus of future strategy and skill building. This approach is particularly useful when clients are feeling stuck and unable to move forward.