We can conduct impartial and independent investigations on your behalf, in the workplace and the community. Our report will take into account the history of the complaint, the perspectives and opinions of everyone involved, the underlying causes of the dispute and recommendations to bring the dispute to resolution. This service is useful for both new and long standing complaints, where referrers do not have the capacity or expertise to conduct a thorough investigation, or where an independent third party opinion would be valuable.
The Chinese word for conflict is made up of 2 symbols. One stands for danger, but the other stands for opportunity. Conflict is all around us – from the argument with your partner about not pulling their weight around the house, the state of your child’s untidy bedroom, disagreements with work colleagues or your boss, to on-going tensions and issues with a neighbour. We can’t avoid conflict. In truth, we shouldn’t need or want to. Every conflict presents an opportunity for us to make a change which is positive, a learning opportunity from which we grow and develop as individuals. Conflict is often very stressful, adversely affecting our health, well-being and quality of life. We can feel fear, anger, upset and despondency. We can minimise the stress and upset of conflict and look for the opportunities conflict by its very nature provides. If we can change our mind set and views about conflict then opportunities for resolution of the conflict can present themselves. Opportunities which can lead not only to resolution of the conflict but which enable you to be better able to deal with future conflicts. Think of conflict resolution as an opportunity. Conflict coaching can help, enabling you to resolve your conflict.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process which both parties agree to use to resolve differences and issues. The mediator’s job is to manage the process – to enable both parties to have honest conversations about what they really need to get an agreement and to move on. The mediator is impartial and independent their role is to help you achieve an agreement. There is no mystique to mediation. The mediation process seeks to resolve a conflict through the collaboration of the parties which takes creative thought. True collaboration means that both parties walk away happy with the agreed solution; gain – gain. Through mediation a solution to the conflict may be an alternative to the conflict that no one thought of before.
Mediation is about two parties brainstorming, thinking openly and getting creative with solutions. Throwing everything out there no matter how crazy it sounds and picking the solution that is a win-win for everyone. Or as arc prefers to think of it as a gain-gain. All discussions during mediation are ‘without prejudice’ – this means that nothing discussed can be used as evidence in any future legal proceedings. You will not be at a disadvantage by trying mediation if an agreement is not reached. Even if mediation is not successful for you may find that the issues are clearer as a result. That said even though an agreement can never be guaranteed, mediation has a very high success rate, 85% of mediations going to joint meeting reach agreement.
Conciliation is another dispute resolution tool that can avoid costly litigation. Like mediation, conciliation is a voluntary, flexible, confidential, and interest based process. The parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement with the assistance of the conciliator, who acts as a neutral third party. The main difference between conciliation and mediation proceedings is that, at some point during the conciliation, the conciliator will suggest a non- legally binding settlement proposal to the parties. In mediation, a mediator does not propose any solutions to the parties in dispute. Like mediation conciliation is a voluntary process. The parties involved attempt to resolve their dispute by conciliation. The process is flexible, allowing parties to define the time, structure and content of the conciliation proceedings. Conciliation is interest-based, as the conciliator will, when proposing a settlement, not only take into account the parties’ legal positions, but also their commercial, financial and / or personal interests.
The conciliator is impartial and independent, with parties agreeing to confidentiality. As with mediation, the ultimate decision to agree on the settlement remains with the parties.
Restorative Justice is a different way of resolving conflict. It brings together those involved in a conflict, to try to solve the problem in a way that is acceptable to all, in the process restoring broken relationships. Restorative justice considers the harm done and strives for agreement from all concerned – the victims, the offender and the community – it is about making amends. All of these processes are designed to be used to resolve your issue, dependant on which process is most suitable to your particular situation.
We provide bespoke dispute resolution training to customer service personnel, managers, HR professionals, housing officers, ASB officers and community members.