The Mediator's Stance

The Mediator's Stance

In martial arts training, students are taught the benefit of various body and mental postures. The totality of these postures, when adopted together, amounts to an effective stance for defense and attack. Students are taught to adopt this stance when presented with a challenge, notwithstanding any contrary reflexive or reactive instincts or habits. The familiarity of the stance inspires confidence and prepares them to meet their reality with competence and agility. It ensures that they are on the best footing possible.

In mediation, there are a number of key postures that are helpful to adopt, that together can be described as the mediator’s stance. In essence, the stance is more of an attitude and mindset which ensures that you do no harm, while supporting collaboration and the emergence of a creative solution. It prepares you to respond consciously in the moment when mediating, and allows you to mediate informally.

Read More

Med-Arb: The Best of Both Worlds or Just A Limited ADR Option?

Med-Arb: The Best of Both Worlds or Just A Limited ADR Option?

People in conflict are looking for a resolution process that is fair, consistent, transparent, inexpensive, quick, and in some way allows them to tell their own story. Med-Arb offers parties the ability to obtain a definite resolution of a particular dispute, with reduced cost, efficient process, and flexibility to pursue consensual settlement prior to or during binding arbitration. In the right circumstances, med-arb may represent the process that best serves the interests for your clients.

Read More

Is Mediation Enough?

Is Mediation Enough?

I’ve been working on better ways to deal with conflict in organizations for more than 40 years. And my understanding of conflict, its effects in organizations and of how best to reduce its harms and capitalize on its benefits has certainly evolved. I learned from hard experience that grievances and lawsuits can leave personal scars and do permanent damage to work relationships. Mediation produces better results with less damage. A stint as an organizational ombudsman taught me that discussing disputes confidentially, off the record could yield good solutions and help keep work relationships intact. I’ve been working on better ways to deal with conflict in organizations for more than 40 years. And my understanding of conflict, its effects in organizations and of how best to reduce its harms and capitalize on its benefits has certainly evolved. I learned from hard experience that grievances and lawsuits can leave personal scars and do permanent damage to work relationships. Mediation produces better results with less damage. A stint as an organizational ombudsman taught me that discussing disputes confidentially, off the record could yield good solutions and help keep work relationships intact. 

Read More

Save Your Company through Mediation Only?

Save Your Company through Mediation Only?

“If this thing fails, I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” Lance tells me as we finish our first call.. “And under no circumstances can our investors find out what’s going on.”

Par for the course for a mediator to hear, and quite understandable. I give him the assurances of confidentiality and a look at the powerful toolbox we as an experienced mediation team will be drawing from. And this reality check: “I guarantee that at the end of this process there will be change; and I guarantee that not everyone is going to like it.” That’s often how the “team performance sessions” begin when we get called in to support a team in crisis.

He and his cofounders are about to entrust us with some of the most important things in the world to them – their startup dreams and their identities. Sugar coating what they are about to enter into won’t help anyone.

Can a mediator singlehandedly save a company? I submit – yes, we can!  (Superhero cape not included.)

Read More

Interview with an Ombudsman: Mark Batson Baril

Interview with an Ombudsman: Mark Batson Baril

Resologics’ Founder and Senior Practitioner Mark Batson Baril is an Ombudsman (conflict advisor) who, along with his team, provides a variety of ombudsmediation and conflict management services to organizations not only to help them resolve disputes, but to optimize team dynamics, increase productivity and reduce costs. Resologics believes in harnessing the power of conflict.

How did you come to the profession of conflict engagement and resolution?

Before I discovered conflict resolution work, I was in a completely different field....

Read More

Top 10 FAQs about an Ombudsman

Top 10 FAQs about an Ombudsman

If you’ve been in business for years and have never heard the term ‘Ombudsman,’ don’t worry, you’re not alone. This weird-sounding word (it’s Swedish for “representative” coined in the 13th century) represents a vital service to organizations in just about every sector of society.

A company finding itself in the midst of a conflict management crisis that is sapping resources, creating a deep rift in the workplace culture and heading toward a legal nightmare, finds out fast how valuable an Ombudsman’s services can be in resolving the conflict and restoring peace and productivity to the organization.

Read More

The Best Ways to Utilize Mediation in the Workplace

The Best Ways to Utilize Mediation in the Workplace

When do you know you need mediation in your workplace?

The first thing to know is what mediation is (and isn’t) so that you’re equipped to recognize the need if and when conflict at work arises.

The second thing to know is that when your company has a built-in system to proactively manage conflict, then you will never have to face the question of needing mediation. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because here’s the reality:  Few organizations have such a system, and we’re most often called in to provide mediation services when the client workplace situation has reached the crisis point – and spiraling out of control fast.

Read More