In some situations it may seem like reaching an agreement would be impossible without going to Court or Arbitration. When we are stuck in conflict, sometimes it seems like the only way out is to have someone else decide who is right and who is wrong – to settle the issues once and for all.
The truth is that the vast majority of disputes that do “go to Court” never actually get in front of a Judge. The statistics vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but the number of cases that actually go to trial is less than 5%. Most litigation ends up in a settlement before any judge hears the lawyer’s opening statements. Very few disputes even warrant the cost of a full blown trial. If they really understood what is involved, most people would say the system is absolutely nuts!
Justice is extremely expensive and the rules of evidence that determine how a case gets presented are very technical and mean that telling the “real story” is probably nearly impossible, especially with a clever lawyer on the other side using every technique in the book to make it so.
Sounds hopeless? Whether you have the money to pursue your goals through an archaic system or not, why not start closer to the end and start with mediation. You will save money. You will save time and if you have lots of both, you will save the grief visited upon all participants in the adversarial system.
What is Mediation?
Mediation, simply put is “assisted negotiation”. It is a process wherein a neutral person, called a mediator, assists two or more disputing parties in discussing their situation, isolating the real issues at the heart of the case (interests), evaluating the options available, in an effort to come to a mutually agreeable solution that is better than each party’s alternatives to a negotiated solution.
There are many forms of mediation, but in each one a mediator is required to be neutral, set the tone of the discussions and establish the ground rules. A good mediator is a skilled communicator who diffuses tense situations by reframing and redirecting the parties to productive and open dialogue. The mediator does not solve the problem for the parties but gives them the communication tools and safe place to get to the essence of a dispute and think creatively about how to move forward.
Do I need Mediation Training?
Knowledge of the strategies, practical skills and theoretical background of mediation is employed in a variety of situations, contexts and workplaces. Managers, lawyers, human resource professionals, grievance officers, and educators are amongst the many individuals who would benefit from the skills learned through mediation training.
It is important to know that ultimately mediation needs to be done by a neutral person from outside your organization and not by the “boss” or supervisor. Knowing when that point has been reached is one of the things that mediation training helps people learn to recognize that moment in the development of a dispute. Mediation Training also helps one understand what is possible with the mediation process, as well as how and when it is the most appropriate conflict resolution tool.
The Mediation Skills training course offered by John Curtis provides participants with:
- Dynamic, engaging workshop format
- Real-world examples, role-playing and mixed-media training
- Opportunities for 1:1 coaching and personalized feedback
- Expert instruction
- Opportunities to investigate:
- “Cross-Cultural and Diversity Skills for the Conflict Resolution Practitioner”
- “Perspectives on Conflict, Its ‘Diagnosis’, and Techniques for Dealing With It”
- “’Restorative Justice’: Concepts and Applications”
- “Facilitation of Multiple Parties/Stakeholders in Conflict”
For more detailed information on Mediation Skills Training, please contact John Curtis.