Susan is also a trained and qualified Civil and Commercial mediator. Over the many years within her Challenge of Excellence practice Susan has mediated countless commercial and family firm disputes. She has designed and delivered courses internationally in conflict management and conflict resolution.
Susan is trained and experienced in inter-group and intra-group dynamics and conflict management where multiple systems in play can have different agendas (e.g. government departments) and where each individual within a system may be wearing multiple ‘hats’ (e.g. in a family firm, being a shareholder, a family business director and a family member) all of which can engender conflicting loyalties.
As in family mediation Susan believes “we should embrace the perception that conflict is just a normal part of life; if we accept it as we would any other interruption to the flow of life we can decide how best to move through it, master it and even reframe it. And the sooner we recognise and address a conflict, the less damage it can inflict, the less time we waste and the more opportunity for creative outcomes is possible”.
In civil or commercial disputes it is sensible to consider third party intervention through professional mediation when a conflict between parties is complex or when emotions begin to dominate. When emotions dominate, positions can become entrenched. When positions become entrenched the flow of business or life becomes interrupted, distractions take over, focus is lost.
Focussing on interests rather than positions frees parties in conflict to address the real underlying issues of the conflict namely, what interests them most? Professional mediation for civil or commercial ‘parties’ disputes provides a structured and contained environment and process for each party to firstly articulate their interests and be sure that those interests are clear and understood by the other party. In the second instance and using known problem solving techniques, the mediator facilitates constructive interaction between the parties for the generation of creative options intended to serve the interests of both sides. The mediation process then allows for an appropriate amount of time for reflection and exploration of the options until mutually acceptable solutions and both sets of interests feel served, resulting in a win-win.
In circumstances where emotions are charged it is beneficial for parties to air fears or concerns so that they can be addressed before the practical issues are managed and options developed. Susan is expert in this area and experienced in managing and holding confidential concerns or issues. Sometimes it may be felt necessary to conduct such sessions or negotiations in separate rooms and in this event, Susan is likely to propose that a co-mediation approach is adopted. A second mediator collaborates in the process to provide a ‘shuttle’ mediation where messages can be taken to and from room to room. This can be a very effective way of managing a dispute when two parties find it difficult to communicate with each other. Sometimes clients’ other professional advisers such as lawyers or financial advisers may be present in mediation to help provide information in an expedient way. In professional sports disputes, sports managers and agents may also be involved in a mediation.
If your issue or the dispute you are confronting is commercial or civil, and or between multiple parties, please do Contact us.