Mediation is a very flexible process and a mediator does not make decisions but instead helps facilitate discussions among parties. This FAQ shares more information about mediation. Conflict resolution has many different levels and approaches though, and you should consider whether some of the following might work for you.
Sometimes conflict exists or persists due to poor procedures, sequencing or lack of skills. There are various tools that can help you assess both the level and source of conflicts within your organization, between businesses, or within communities. This type of work often involves confidential surveys and interviews, and recommendations for changes. Sarah continues to do some of this work through her consulting firm.
Resolution counsel are well versed in negotiation skills and work with clients to prepare for mediations, negotiations or settlement conferences. This role requires an advocate who is also a strategic procedural thinker and able to help you work through both the legal and nonlegal factors that affect your conflict. When choosing a resolution counsel consider the following attributes.
Ask if your counsel takes a team approach in working with clients — and their other counsel. What does that look like? How will you work together to define goals, set priorities, and choose the level of services needed? What is the long term strategy beyond the specific conflict? You want to look for approaches that effectively put the dispute to rest, and minimize future conflict.
Unique cases often require unique solutions. An effective resolution counsel will look for innovative and creative solutions that are consistent with the needs and interests of the parties as well as the applicable law.
And an effective resolution counsel will be pragmatic — looking for solutions that make business or practical sense. The goal should be to use time efficiently, money economically, and in turn provide effective representation.
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