Mediation – Effective Dispute Resolution

Mediation is the most commonly used dispute resolution process in Australia, with many thousands of cases resolved each year.  The process comes in many forms, from institutional to private, and from rigid to highly flexible.  Individual mediation styles range from passive, to directive, to highly engaged.

It’s important to clearly understand what you’re getting into before signing up for a mediation!

Our Mediations are solution-oriented, constructive negotiation processes, facilitated by a neutral Mediator.  Our goal is to guide the parties to an agreed solution, ideally one that addresses both the presenting dispute and its underlying causes, and that in the process helps to heal wounds and strengthen damaged relationships.

We call our process “Solutionist Mediation”, and describe it fully to parties before they sign up, so they know exactly what they’re getting, and what they’re not getting.  In essence, this is what to expect:

  1. A very experienced and highly skilled Mediator, bearing the highest levels of qualification and accreditation available in Australia for both mediation and other forms of dispute resolution. The mediator will encourage and help the parties to run as much of the process as they can, by themselves, but won’t hesitate to get deeply involved, where appropriate.

Within reason, whatever needs to be done to help the parties reach an agreeable resolution as quickly as inexpensively as possible, will be done.

  1. A careful initial diagnosis of the needs and objectives of all parties is made during the initial intake and/or preliminary conference process, covering both the issues in dispute and the parties themselves. This ensures that the most appropriate dispute resolution process is used, under all the circumstances.  It’s surprising how frequently parties choose a different process to what they’d expected after their options have been explained to them (and to their legal advisers!).
  2. Relevant background information is explored to provide context to the dispute. This is especially relevant to trust-based conflicts such as family and partnership matters, where the history of the dispute provides essential clues to its real causes, and increases the likelihood we’ll be able to develop holistic and durable solutions.
  3. The mediator then deconstructs the situation, with each party’s help, into its component parts. This process often changes people’s perceptions and stimulates early resolution.
  4. If a dispute remains after the deconstruction stage, the mediator helps the parties to envisage a better future, using the points of agreement he’s helped them to develop. Once a full solution has been developed and agreed, that addresses all issues both initially presented and arising during the mediation process, a written agreement can be drafted and signed, and the dispute will be resolved.

In our experience of literally thousands of arbitration, mediation and facilitation interventions over more than 30 years, this sort of process produces by far the most holistically satisfying results for the majority of disputing parties, for a tiny fraction of the cost of litigation, and with far less direct and collateral damage to the parties, their families, their businesses, and their lives,


If you have a need for a Solutionist Mediation, please call, or contact: The Solutionist Group.

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