Principle Mediation Ethics

Principle Mediation Ethics

It is essential for mediators to maintain high standards for professional dispute resolution. Mediators have different expertise and work with different types of cases such as victim/offender court diversion cases, workplace and union disputes, neighborhood conflict or community groups, child custody, and divorce.

Every case will have varying challenges and call for professionalism and high levels of self-awareness that puts the parties at the forefront of the process. A mediator must also have an awareness of their limitations and the limits of mediation, and have knowledge of when to terminate the mediation process and recommend alternative interventions. While assisting the parties in the process, mediators hold key ethical principles throughout the process.

In knowing these values, you can be reassured that you have a lot of power in this process, to voice your needs and be heard as you work through the conflict and move towards problem-solving and restoration with the other party.

Conflict Of Interest

Like lawyers and doctors, mediators should avoid serving in cases in which they have a direct or indirect interest. The interest can be of personal, professional, or financial benefit.

Due to a conflict of interest, their job can become complicated. Moreover, based on the biased mediation, the session can go into shambles. Hence, before you start a mediation session, make sure that you ask the mediator for a side of disclosure. If the mediator happens to be related to the case in any way, you can always opt for another mediator. However, this should be done well in advance.

Professional Boundaries

It is up to the mediator to know the limits of what they can and cannot do. Just like in any other profession, each mediator has an area of expertise. Some are specialized in domestic mediation while others are proficient at legal disputes.

It is up to the mediator to only take on assignments that fall within their expertise. They should candidly communicate with the respective parties if the case is beyond their specialization and experience.

Impartiality

The mediator should work towards being impartial towards both parties and the outcome of the mediation. Self-awareness is a significant aspect of being a successful mediator, along with recognizing situations of unconscious bias. It can be difficult to engage with parties without developing some feelings or bias about them or the situation. However, this is part of the job and it is necessary for the mediator to remain impartial throughout the session.

You can request a new mediator if you believe that your mediator is being partial towards the other party. However, keep in mind that if you are not getting favorable results, just for the sake of getting a new mediator, you cannot accuse your current mediator of being partial.

Confidentiality

Another major aspect of mediation is confidentiality. Your mediator must safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of the mediation process from the parties as well as from those outside the mediation.

Moreover, when a mediator meets separately with one of the parties, he/she must maintain the confidentiality of anything said in that private session that that party does not want the other party or parties to know. In addition, mediators have a duty to inform the parties of any relevant limits of confidentiality, such as mandated reporting of child abuse or the planned commission of a crime.

In the case of restorative justice mediation, the mediator will seek accountability for the charges that have been laid.

Conclusion

Mediators maintain high standards to ensure that mediation is a participant-led process and that parties are empowered and supported. The goal is to set up the parties for the best chance of success so they are satisfied with the outcome and their decision-making throughout the process.

About Mediation Services

Mediation Services has been providing services in mediation and conflict resolution since 1979. Our mission is to empower individuals in conflict, create safe spaces for difficult conversations, and build capacity for future conflict. Mediation Services is a non-profit organization with a social enterprise. We receive funding through Manitoba Justice for our court diversion referrals and from United Way to subsidize our costs for family and community conflict resolutions. Our training program builds skills in conflict management, leadership, and mediation. Contact us for more information about our services.

Common Causes Of Neighbourhood Conflicts And Their Solutions

Common Causes Of Neighbourhood Conflicts And Their Solutions

Neighbourhood conflicts are common and bound to happen. People of different concepts and thoughts have to live in the same community, and as such, their behaviors, habits, and etiquette might be different from one another.

Just like you are affected by some of the habits of your neighbours, your neighbours might also be annoyed by some of your acts that might lead to severe neighbourhood conflicts. Neighbourhood conflicts can arise due to various reasons, and can be resolved through the help of a mediation services company. This blog post highlights the most common causes of neighbourhood conflicts and what you can do about them.

Common Causes Of Neighbourhood Conflicts

Late Night Noise

Whether it be late-night parties or someone playing music in your neighbourhood, late-night noise can be problematic for those living in the area. This can cause disputes in the neighbourhood. Noise is one of the most common complaints in neighbourhood conflicts but can be managed if you are considerate about the time to choose to make noise and comply with the needs of others in your neighbourhood.

Pets

Your neighbours’ dog might not be that friendly and might scare you wherever you are trying to get inside your own home or park your car in your garage. Pets can be an inconvenience for some people, and they might not like that their neighbours have a pet and would rather they not have one at all. Another common problem is the failure of the owner to handle and train their pets, especially dogs, properly. This can lead to severe outcomes when an animal gets out of control. Proper training and having a safe cage that you can put your dog in when you are out can resolve such issues.

Property Disputes

Another common scenario in neighbourhood conflicts is over the property. If you and your neighbour share a common sidewalk, you might run into a dispute over who should shovel the snow, mow the lawn, or take care of the fence. Such conflicts can lead to quarrels every time there is a need to do any of these tasks. However, proper communication and division of responsibilities can reduce such issues.

Spying

Some neighbours have a bad habit of spying on other people around and observing their daily activities. At the same time, you can’t completely ignore everything and keep your head down while going in and out. Spying is an annoying habit for your neighbours and must be avoided unless you suspect criminal behaviour. Invasion of privacy is another common issue in neighbourhood conflicts.

How To Resolve Neighbourhood Conflicts

You can resolve neighbourhood conflicts by taking proper steps towards open communication and opting for meditation services. Other than this, you can take the following measures:

  • Be positive about your neighbour. Don’t always assume that your neighbour is doing something on purpose to irritate you.
  • Learn to communicate. Tell them politely what is bothering you and how you can find a solution for the problem.
  • Be appreciative of the efforts that your neighbour does.
  • Keep your neighbours informed before doing anything, such as if you are planning on installing a fence, keeping a pet, buying a car, or organizing a party at night.
  • Be calm when your neighbour comes to you with their problem. Don’t react defensively and listen to what they are saying.
  • Get help from professionals. There are mediation services available in your community that can help you when you think that you can’t handle the problem on your own.

About Mediation Services

Mediation Services is a Mennonite Central Committee that provides effective mediation services for families, neighbourhoods, and other conflicts. Our professional staff are experts in conflict resolution and helping you with your life’s problems. Contact us for more information.

What Should You Know Before Starting A Negotiation At A Mediation Table?

What Should You Know Before Starting A Negotiation At A Mediation Table?

Most people, especially those who are trying to settle legal disputes, don’t really know what to expect when negotiating across a mediation table. These negotiations are usually nothing like what the parties have experienced before.

Due to their lack of prior experience, when parties come to the mediation table, they find themselves shocked, disheartened, and frustrated especially upon receiving their opening settlement offer.

In this blog, we talk about what you can expect when you go to a mediation table and how you can make the most of the situation you are in.

Expect A Troublesome Start

When you go to a mediation service to help you settle a dispute, especially a legal one, both or one of the parties are required to offer an opening settlement. In most cases, this leads to a hyper-inflated situation topped with outrage, pessimism, and discouragement.

Although mediators are very much used to the display of emotions, parties like to believe that emotional reactions to hardball openings mean that the mediation is over. However, with proper guidance and a good mediator in the picture, the process can move on smoothly and reach a viable conclusion.

Your mediator can talk to each party alone and listen to them vent to bring some calm into the situation and encourage the consideration of a longer perspective. A few points that you should remember are:

  1. The first settlement offer is merely an opening figure. It does not decide the conclusion.
  2. Mediation is frequently an all-day process.
  3. No one actually expects the first offer to be accepted.
  4. Opening offers are rarely a true reflection of what a party is willing to offer or accept.
  5. The other side’s top or bottom line is unlikely to become evident until several offers.

Moreover, if you are the offering party, know that unrealistic opening proposals lead to equally unproductive, unrealistic, and reactionary counter-proposals which in turn cause outrage and dismay. So, make sure you are reasonable when providing offers.

Hardball Tactics Are Used

Once the parties have provided their opening statements or offers, the negotiations usually continue at a glacial pace for several more rounds. In some cases, the movements and increments are barely noticeable which can be extremely frustrating.

This is usually done to cloud the other party’s judgment. Even some trained and experienced negotiators might do this. Some of the reasons for this are:

  • The Negotiator was trained to negotiate aggressively.
  • Some believe an aggressive, negative opening offer sends the right opening message that is “Don’t get your hopes up.”
  • Some seek to establish a favorable negotiation range before the other side can do so.
  • Some believe an unproductive number can help lower the other side’s expectations about the value of the dispute.
  • Some actually believe that discouraging the other side early is an important step in the softening-up process.

Hence, it is advised that you go into the situation with a realistic perspective and a robust understanding of the process.

The Other Side Is Counting On Your Impatience

Don’t get discouraged by unrealistic, unproductive opening numbers. Proposals demanded in round one rarely predict where a dispute may settle and good settlements require patience.

Moreover, mediation sessions are scheduled for the entire day and there may be as many as five, six, or seven rounds back and forth before the process is complete. Hence, try to be patient throughout the process. Some things you can do to ensure a favorable conclusion are:

  • Know what to expect
  • Be patient and flexible
  • Keep an open mind
  • Plan strategically
  • Listen carefully
  • Make constructive and reciprocal proposals using an understandable rationale

About Mediation Services

Do you want to reach out to a safer and more reliable option to settle your conflicts? Call Mediation Services to have your family, neighborhood, or workplace conflicts resolved by our professionals. Our online workshops and on-site training can resolve your issues without all the emotional stress.

What To Do After You Receive An Eviction Notice

What To Do After You Receive An Eviction Notice

According to recent research, one in four adults are having trouble paying their bills since the coronavirus pandemic hit and created a rift in most industries around the world. As a result, countless people are facing eviction. Although things are slowly going back to normal, it will take a while before people start recovering from the challenging year they have had.

Many families have already started using up their savings or retirement accounts to make ends meet. From paying bills to dealing with rent and mortgage costs, things have been difficult for as much as 46 percent of the population.

Amidst all this, receiving an eviction notice can be devastating. Most people don’t know how to deal with the situation and start panicking. In this blog, we have mentioned a few pointers that can help you deal with an eviction notice.

Know What Happened

If you have received, or are suspecting an eviction notice, it is important to understand why you are receiving it and what it means. You will most likely receive a written notification of eviction from a landlord if they have decided to move forward with the eviction process.

The notice will have details about the reason why you are being evicted and the time you have to clear away your belongings. It might also have the following headings:

  • Notice to Quit
  • Notice to Cure or Quit
  • Demand for Compliance or Right to Possession Compliance

If your notice has the third heading you might have the choice to ask the landlord to give you more time under certain conditions.

Respond Quickly

Instead of getting scared and worried after receiving the eviction notice, it is best to respond quickly to try and work things out with the landlord outside the courtroom. Evictions are expensive for both parties, and there’s a good chance your landlord is as strapped for cash as you are.

Ignoring a written eviction notice might turn out to be the worst decision you make. It might be used against you in the courtroom. It is imperative that you understand and respond to the landlord and the court with any required paperwork.

Make Arrangements To Avoid Disagreements

If you and your landlord fail to reach an agreement about the eviction, it is better to work with a skilled mediator. Sometimes, to come to a wise and sustainable conclusion a third party is required. Getting the advice of an independent expert can go a long way in achieving that goal. A third party that has no stake in the case can provide objective advice, which can help limit arguments and resentment.

Heading to court to solve your issues will be much more expensive, tedious, and mentally draining. With the help of a neutral third party, you and your landlord may come to a solution that avoids eviction.

What Happens If You Don’t Comply

If you don’t reach a conclusion outside the court and don’t comply with the eviction notice, your landlord can file a lawsuit when the eviction notice period ends. Once the eviction notice is processed, you will receive copies of the filed court documents, and the court will issue a summons for you to appear.

You will be required to file an answer to the complaint on or before a specific date. If you fail to answer, the court can enter a judgment against you.

About Us

At Mediation Services we understand how frustrating eviction notices can be. Our mediation experts have been trained to provide alternative dispute resolution services to help you and your landlord reach a conclusion that is beneficial for both of you.

We offer a flexible, and cost-effective alternative to the long, expensive resolution system that involves the courts and judiciaries. Our mediation services will provide both of you with an unbiased, and neutral mediator who will facilitate a reasonable discussion. For more information about our services contact us.

How To Keep The Peace In A Neighborhood Conflict

How To Keep The Peace In A Neighborhood Conflict

When you share space with someone, disputes are likely to occur every now and then. From endlessly barking dogs to loud music being played at late hours of the night, there are so many reasons why you may be experiencing problems with your neighbors. The world is filled with different types of people and sometimes you might have to share your neighborhood with people you don’t get along with.

Any issue with a neighbor can make you feel upset. There are so many things at stake and sometimes conflict with a neighbor can even make you feel unsafe and uncomfortable in your own home.

When both parties feel like they are on the right side of a dispute, things can escalate quickly. Tensions can run incredibly high if no one is willing to sit to talk and figure out a solution. This can lead to long-term feuds and even violence in worst-case scenarios.

Some Common Reasons For Neighbourhood Disputes

  • Property fences
  • Overhanging trees, shrubs, or plants
  • Loud noise or music
  • Lifestyle or environmental issues
  • Children or teenager’s behavior
  • Dogs and other pets
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Overuse of driveways or common areas

Whether you’re renting or you own a property, there comes a time when you have to handle conflicts with neighbors. Knowing how to approach your neighbor in a peaceful way and what to do is important. However, this skill does not come so easily to everyone.

Continue reading to learn some strategies on how you can manage a neighborhood dispute in a way that will solve the problem without creating a new one.

Make Sure It’s Actually A Problem

First, you need to make sure whether the issue is simply just your neighbor or you causing an occasional annoyance or if it is something that is seriously interfering with your quality of life. If it’s the former situation, then it’s best not to rock the boat. Take some time to wrap your head around it so you can determine how much of an issue you have.

Sometimes it is obvious right away that this is not a one-time thing, for instance, if your neighbor smokes cigarettes on their balcony and the smell is wafting into your apartment. However, something like loud noises from a party that disturb your peaceful night can be ignored as a one-off issue. Be sure your reasons are merited before taking it up with your neighbor.

Don’t Forget To Document The Issue

Sometimes the opposite party might be unaware that their behavior is causing an issue for other people. For instance, your neighbor may not know that their TV is often set on a loud volume and you can hear it or that their kids are stomping and it reverberates loudly into the apartment below. Documenting the issue can help you illustrate your point effectively.

Track their offending behavior for a week or two, noting patterns like time and duration. You don’t have to bring up the log the first time you address the issue. Nevertheless, it can come in handy if they try to dispute the facts. Also, add any conversation you and your neighbor have on the issue to your log, such as when and what was discussed.

Seek Help From A Third Party

Not all conflicts with neighbors can be solved without assistance from external parties. Sometimes you have to bring in a third party – such as another neighbor or your landlord – to settle the dispute. This usually happens when you have discussed the issue with your neighbor and they are not amenable to a settlement or finding a solution. This is especially true if your neighbor retaliates by doubling down on their problematic behavior.

You can also seek help from your homeowners’ association mediation board or an outside mediator. Don’t go straight to the police or a lawyer unless absolutely necessary as in the case of a safety concern. If you don’t want to involve your homeowners’ association or lawyer in the situation, we recommend researching a local mediation service.

Mediation services can help you manage the conflict from an objective standpoint. They facilitate communication between the two parties and act as a neutral liaison. You can schedule a date and location for a consultation. They will send a third-party mediator to sit down with you and your neighbor with the goal of reaching a compromise.

About Mediation Services

Do you want to reach out to a safer and more reliable option to settle your conflicts? Call Mediation Services to have your family, neighborhood, or workplace conflicts resolved by our professionals. Our online workshops and on-site training can resolve your issues without the emotional stress.

How To End A Business Partnership Without Breaking The Bank

How To End A Business Partnership Without Breaking The Bank

Business partnerships are always started in the best of interests. Nobody gets into a partnership to one day get out of it. However, statistics show that up to 70% of business partnerships fail.

This is not surprising since many partners stop seeing eye-to-eye a few months or years down the road. It can be one of the most challenging disputes since not only the integrity and the reputation of your business is involved, but if not done properly, the separation can cost you thousands of dollars.

In most cases, it is almost impossible to determine whose fault it is. Hence, it is best to take the sophisticated route, maintain control and negotiate a fair settlement peacefully and affordably.

In this blog, we have discussed what route you can take when ending a business partnership to minimize monetary loss.

What Can Cause A Dispute?

Running a business requires you to make several difficult decisions that not all members of the board will always agree upon. However, as the CEO or a board member, you have to put the interests of the business first. Some of the reasons business partners may start getting into a feud or start drifting away are:

  • Lack of communication
  • Misalignment in values
  • No shared vision
  • No longer seeing eye-to-eye
  • A change in goals
  • Clashes over who contributes more
  • Disagreements on how the company operates
  • Disputes on what direction the company is going
  • Irreconcilable differences in opinion

Whatever the reason may be, harboring negative feelings can make it almost impossible to work together. This may also lead to a complete breakdown of the business. At this point, it is important that you protect your interests throughout the ordeal. If you had developed a Partnership Agreement in the past, this might help the process. However, if you have not, reaching a conclusion might be a tad bit difficult.

Spot The Signs

If you see that you and your business partner are drifting apart, don’t try and keep the relationship going until things get worse. With time small signs can turn into big red flags. If these signs are left unchecked it can reach a boiling point, turning the best of the relationships into the worst. Since at this point, both parties are annoyed, reaching a conclusion is unlikely.

To avoid that and to help ensure an amicable breakup, you need to be able to spot the signs of a failing business partnership before it reaches a toxic breaking point.

Make Fast Decisions

If you are spotting noticeable signs such as your business partner suddenly starting to slack off or is not giving the business his or her all, it is important you make the right decision fast. Don’t ignore tensions, disputes, and outright arguments.

It is naive to spend months ignoring tensions, disputes, and outright arguments. It is better to talk things over and make a decision to preserve the interests of both parties and the business.

Communicate

Most issues between business partners arise due to a lack of communication. Whether you want to try and salvage the relationship or if you want to break off the partnership, keep the dialogue going. Avoid unnecessary bickering and arguments. Try to communicate with each other without feelings of resentment and anger.

Be reasonable and figure out a way to talk things through without having to involve the authorities. You might have to give away a little more if you want to preserve your friendship.

Call In The Experts

Sometimes, to come to a wise and sustainable conclusion a third party is required. Getting the advice of an independent expert can go a long way in achieving that goal. A third party that has no stake in the business can provide objective advice, which can help limit arguments and resentment.

At Mediation Services we understand the volatile nature of partnership disputes. Our mediation experts have been trained to provide alternative dispute resolution services to help you and your partner reach a conclusion that is beneficial to both.

We offer a flexible, and cost-effective alternative to the long, expensive resolution system that involves the courts and judiciaries. Our mediation services will provide both of you with an unbiased, and neutral mediator who will facilitate a reasonable discussion. For more information about our services contact us.

Top Benefits Of Availing Mediation Services

Top Benefits Of Availing Mediation Services

Disputes happen, and in most cases cannot be ignored. However, you can resolve them with the help of a mediation service. Mediation services play an important role in settling conflicts by listening to both parties involved. They conduct separate sessions with both parties and then a joint session to come up with a final solution to the problem.

Mediation services can solve many personal family problems, workplace issues, or neighborhood or community conflicts.

Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of mediation services in resolving conflicts of different kinds.

It Is Completely Confidential

One of the best benefits of mediation services is that it keeps all the information that you share confidential and doesn’t disclose your information to the opposing party or anyone else. Both parties can come together or in separate sessions to a neutral place where they can discuss the conflict openly and are assured of its confidentiality.

It Is A Cheaper Solution

Going to court can be quite expensive, draining, and time-consuming. Courts often can’t settle your dispute in one or two meetings alone. Rather, the proceedings are dragged for long periods and can escalate conflicts to dangerous levels.

On the other hand, mediation services are much more reliable when it comes to cost and time-saving. Mediation services offer you confidential meeting options and are much cheaper than court options. It saves you from the fatigue of going to court and saves you from having to go through legal procedures.

It Lowers Your Stress

Going to court to deal with a conflict can be stressful. Going through a dispute along with dealing with the stress that comes along with everyday life, plus the burden of court proceedings can lead an individual to think irrationally, which might lead them towards breaking off relationships.

Mediation services help you choose the right path to resolve your conflict. It lowers your stress levels when you have someone you can talk to about your issues, and can suggest some expert advice to you without causing any further drama.

It Preserves The Relationship

Nobody wants to have to go to court to resolve their conflicts because it is time-consuming and stressful and can permanently affect relationships. Mediation services provide an effective and solid ground for both the parties involved so that their relationships are not affected.

This is especially essential in a workplace environment where you don’t want to affect your reputation in the market when applying for a new job as court proceedings will show up in background checks. It helps to preserve commercial relationships, so you can continue to trade with opposing parties. It also allows you to work peacefully in a workplace environment and preserve your family where children may also be involved.

You Have More Control

Mediation services allow you to reach a conclusion at your own pace. The experts that act as mediators help you reach a state of mind from where you can understand the point of view of the other party.

Moreover, unlike court proceedings, you won’t have to adhere to a certain schedule. You can move fast or slow, according to your state of mind.

About Mediation Services

Do you want to reach out to a safer and more reliable option to settle your conflicts? Call Mediation Services to have your family, neighborhood, or workplace conflicts resolved by our professionals. Our online workshops and on-site training can resolve your issues without any emotional stress.