In my role as the mediator, I use my skills and training to assist the parties to talk openly and honestly with one another about the matters in dispute. I try to ensure that there are no misunderstandings about what each party thinks the other is saying.
I help the parties to clarify the issues and to identify their respective interests. I then assist them to develop options for resolving the dispute. From the options developed, I assist the parties to reach agreements that will resolve matters. The focus in a mediation meeting is on agreeing on outcomes that are mutually satisfactory.
Once the parties have agreed to appoint me as the mediator, it is my responsibility to arrange the mediation meeting(s) to take place on days and at times that suit the parties, and to organise a neutral venue that is suitable for all parties.
A wide range of disputes can be successfully resolved through mediation. For example, mediation has helped resolve
- employment disputes,
- disputes between family members,
- relationships between business partners, or their suppliers or clients, and
- community disputes.
There are some disputes for which mediation is not suitable. During our initial discussions we will discuss whether mediation is an appropriate dispute resolution process for you.
I have found that a valuable part of the dispute resolution process is when the parties sign a written agreement at the conclusion of the mediation, as a record of their agreements. It signifies that resolution has been reached.
Towards the end of the mediation process, I take the verbal agreements that the parties have created, and incorporate them into a document for the parties to sign. This document can take different forms, depending on the circumstances and nature of the dispute. It can be a legally binding contract or a Heads of Agreement (that the parties will engage their lawyers to convert into a contract) or an informal Memorandum of Understanding.