Mediation Training

Mediation

John Curtis offers introductory and advanced training in mediation covering both the underlying principles and skills necessary for a successful mediator.

Learn More About Mediation Training with John Curtis

What is the Difference Between Facilitation and Mediation?

John Curtis, .

What’s the difference between facilitation and mediation? They are both means to an end – but the journey to get there is different. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are clear differences between these two alternative dispute resolution techniques and clear instances in which one or the other is better suited for the job. But because workplace conflict does not always follow straight lines, it can be helpful to create an approach that combines the best of both mediation and facilitation.

More About Confidentiality

John Curtis, .

When you are ill or hurt, you talk about your concerns and symptoms with the understanding that your health care providers can’t go back home and tell their dinner party guests all about your issues. When you go to a lawyer, you need to have the opportunity to discuss strategy and details without fear of disclosure. If you go to confession, you need to know your spiritual leader isn’t writing a book about your exploits. Confidentiality is the cornerstone of many relationships, and it is also essential for a mediator.

There are two branches of confidentiality in mediation:

What Happens When a Mediation Agreement is Broken?

John Curtis, .

People choose mediation because it is a voluntary (in most cases), nonbinding process that does not affect their ability to pursue further legal action. These are important benefits of mediation, but they can also pose a concern. What if the parties do come to an agreement as a result of the mediation and one party does not hold up their end of the bargain? Does a mediation agreement amount to a “gentlemen’s agreement” or is it a legal contract?

It depends. I know we all hate that answer; what it lacks in clarity it makes up for in ambiguity. Here are some possibilities, though:

Going to Mediation: Who Decides?

John Curtis, .

Mediation is a voluntary process; sometimes, though, “voluntary” can get a little murky if employers are “strongly recommending” mediation or, in fact, requiring it before other steps can be taken. Ontario, after all, does have “mandatory mediation.” So the question of who decides whether or not a specific issue goes to mediation is not a one-word answer. It could be up to any number of people: to the parties themselves, to the HR staff or to the liaison officer. It could be dependent on policies, or it may not even be mentioned as an option under company policy.  The important thing is that all parties recognize that mediation is an option. More important than “who” decides is “when” it happens or gets suggested.

Mediation as a Solution in Harassment Cases

John Curtis, .

You’ll often find lists of tips for dealing with harassment at work. One that I recently came across advised that we take a “work stress inventory to identify” sources of stress and write a “joy journal to focus on what’s going right.” It can be hard to focus on the joy when someone is using offensive and/or threatening language against you or making your work life intolerable. You don’t need an inventory; you know where your stress comes from. But what you may not know is what to do about it. There is a solution that is often overlooked in the workplace: mediation. Can it work in harassment cases?

Mediation Documentation: The Role of Note-Taking

John Curtis, .

Author Gabrielle Zevin has said, “I have so much paperwork. I’m afraid my paperwork has paperwork.” Most of us can relate. The point of mediation is to create an opportunity for parties to communicate and work towards resolving a conflict. Documentation is a part of it, but paperwork doesn’t have to overshadow everything. Is note-taking simply more paperwork that you have to complete in the mediation process?