When trying to hold difficult discussions - especially where there are deeply held views on all sides - the challenges can seem insurmountable.
Common pitfalls include: the constant risk of interruption and escalation; meandering off the subject, or going around in circles; responding to personal accusations, or the use of inflammatory language; dwelling unduly on the past; dealing with partial recollections; fixating on who is to blame; trying to overcome a deadlock; and resisting the temptation to walk out.
It is hardly surprising, when faced with such challenges, that many people stop talking to each other altogether.
I help people who have strong differences of opinion – be they entrenched disputes, or recent disagreements - to have constructive discussions, leading to good outcomes for all concerned.
I will meet the participants separately, to understand what has been going on, from their perspective, and how it has affected them. In these separate meetings, I will clarify what matters most to each participant – what are the most important things for them, to be sorted out.
In the joint meeting, I will help to identify and explore the differences that exist between the participants. In doing so, this will enable them to gain a deeper understanding of where the other is coming from.
I will then help to explore possibilities for a way forward - including one's that may have been difficult to discuss in a face to face classic negotiation. All practical options will be 'reality tested', taking into account each participant's needs and concerns.
Where appropriate, I will help to shape a consensus (or a shared understanding, a joint decision, or an agreement) that seems sensible and fair to all participants.
The mediation process is tried and tested. It is structured (this helps to keep things moving forward, at a purposeful pace) and there are ground rules (speak one at a time; equal 'air time'; take a break at any time, if needed). The meeting is also confidential - all ideas can be brain-stormed with openness.
Mediation often brings a fresh perspective, or a change in perception, that can make a decisive difference.
An experienced, professional mediator, I am skilled in improving communication, creating understanding and brokering agreement between people whose personal, professional or commercial relationships are under strain, or have broken down.
I provide independent mediation services including: facilitated dialogue, conflict resolution, supervision, training and consultancy across many different contexts. In full time practice since 2010, I specialise in mediating complex and sensitive cases.
I have a business background and a degree in social psychology. My belief is that if most people are given the opportunity to work together, think creatively and problem solve then, with the help of a skilled mediator, most things can be sorted out.
T +44 (0)7905 177 863