Years of litigation in public, destroyed business relationships, high costs and unsatisfactory process results are often the consequence of conflicts and failed relationships. The secret to maintaining dialogue, openness to solutions and perhaps also the ability to still keep the relationship somewhat healthy despite a conflict is built on the three pillars of listening, empathic understanding, and successful communication.
Mediation as a structured process encompasses exactly these three areas of competence, which is what makes it so successful. As a certified intercultural and bi-lingual mediator, I help to resolve conflicts out of court – quickly, effectively, and discreetly.
Although the principles and process of mediation on which its success is based remain the same across topics, I focus primarily on the areas of separation & divorce (family law mediation), inheritance mediation, and workplace mediation.
While I am generally in favor of face-to-face sessions, online or shuttle mediations have increasingly proven their worth, triggered by Corona among others, and are particularly suitable for disputes between highly contentious parties.
Shuttle mediation can also be used when the parties live too far apart geographically for traditional mediation.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this.
A divorce is drastic. Often it is difficult to talk to each other, although there may be many things to work out before you finally part.
However, before ending up in a tough legal battle, and usually at the expense of dialogue between the parties, I am interested in bringing calmness and clarity to this difficult time. Examples of situations where mediation is quite suitable:
- You want to settle your divorce quickly and orderly. Without hectic. You don’t know if you can do it together and allow a neutral person help you.
- Your situation is complex, e.g. because of a company, a home, special tax constructions or property involved
- You have already separated, but you are stuck with parental contact arrangements
- You have divorced earlier, but you want to make new arrangements
- Your daily life has changed, e.g. you have to move to a “distant place” and you cannot maintain joint parental care. What now?
- A new partner makes conversations more difficult…?
I would like to help you. Because the alternative is that you end up in court proceedings. Two sides are hostile to each other. This causes stress and costs time, money, and energy. If you are open to a solution and you are interested in not destroying the relationship level, perhaps also because of common children, you should give yourself and mediation a chance.
Two figures make the conflict potential in this area particularly clear: In 90% of all inheritance cases, the testator does not leave a will.
Around 350,000 company transfers are due in the next 5 years, but only just under 40% of entrepreneurs have a clear idea of the succession arrangements.
Disputes within communities of heirs often have emotional backgrounds. If these are revealed with the help of a mediator, unexpected solutions often emerge.
In inheritance mediation, you negotiate a solution to your conflict together, articulate your wishes and feelings, and thus create an atmosphere of togetherness again. Often the relationship between the parties involved is even improved through mediation. A mutual understanding takes place.
Mediation in the workplace
“We don’t have conflicts in our company – and if we do, our HR department will handle it.”
Sounds familiar? Interpersonal problems can arise at any point in a workplace: Between individual colleagues, in a team, between departments, in the relationship between supervisor and employee(s), or even between managers themselves or in the relationship between management and works council.
The reasons for this are manifold. External factors such as high workloads, structural and personnel changes can play a role. Often, there is a lack of clear and direct communication. And then there is the “human factor” – not everyone thinks, feels, acts, reacts and works in the same way.
An early and systematic handling of conflicts can considerably reduce frictional losses – to the benefit of the individual employee as well as the company. The support of a third party not involved in the conflict is absolutely helpful in clarifying and resolving the conflict. Such third parties can be found within the company, such as employees in the human resources department or in the works council.
However, internal parties are seldom perceived as “neutral”, which can have a detrimental effect on the willingness to have an open discussion.
Certified mediators like myself can help to clarify the situation within the framework of a clearly structured procedure using a variety of suitable methods, even in the case of conflicts that have escalated to an emotionally high level.
Conflict coaching is a one-on-one process designed to develop the client’s skills in dealing with conflict or to assist in dealing with a particularly difficult or complex conflict. We usually focus on one of three levels:
- Improving an important relationship that has been damaged by an ongoing conflict
- Building skills to resolve conflict constructively
- Strategic management of organizational change
I help my clients identify conflict patterns – within themselves or in their organization – and develop constructive, solutions-oriented approaches.
The roots of organizational conflict may lie in the structure of the organization, in the processes of organizing work, or in the capabilities of its members. The ability of an organization’s leader to deal constructively with conflict, provide effective feedback, work across divisions, lead and manage change, listen, and facilitate creative and collaborative teams has a major impact on success. Adapting structures and improving processes also requires individuals to make it all work.
Mediation offers a way, in addition to litigation, to find a solution to disputes. Especially compared to a lawsuit in court or to arbitration proceedings, mediation offers some clear advantages:
- A high chance of finding a way to resolve disputes
- A short duration; sometimes only a few hours and usually no more than a few days
- procedural costs, which are generally lower than in court or arbitration proceedings
- Experience shows that solutions found in the mediation process are adhered to by all parties involved and are very sustainable.
Mediation is not a transfiguring soft-wash program with hand-holding, nor does it have anything to do with hidden powers. Rather, it is a well-structured way of conducting negotiations that is several hundred years old. Since then, however, the principles of mediation have evolved, based on the insights of Harvard’s Principles of Negotiation.
Mediation should be your tool of choice if you want to resolve your conflict
- and in all confidentiality
While in court proceedings you usually wait 1-2 years for a – in the result uncertain – decision, conflicts in mediation, depending on their nature and complexity, can often be solved within a few weeks.
Even though a lawsuit often ends with a settlement and is not lost, the parties often feel like losers because of a “foul” compromise. Mediation, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to develop a customized solution to your specific problem, because the human factor may overrule a legal paragraph.
Mediation is so successful because a separate, jointly achieved result takes into account precisely your interests. In this way, the process is not only perceived positively, but always leaves 2 winners at the end. In court, this can usually look different, despite a good lawyer. The confrontational basic attitude is dissolved by mediation and enables you to continue the private, business or family relationship in the future. Your energy is no longer burdened with a conflict from the past but is once again available for more important things: Shaping your future business and personal success.
Prerequisites for mediation
Mediation can only be used if the following conditions are met on all sides
- Participation is voluntary.
- The participants are willing to communicate fairly.
- The parties to the conflict are open to a solution.
- The conflict can be delimited.
- The contents of the mediation meetings are treated confidentially.
- The participants are willing to disclose all factual content needed for clarification.
Compared to the classical court process, mediation not only offers the advantage of a significantly faster and often especially tailor-made result. Another essential aspect, because it is also noticeable in the balance sheet, is the cost advantage. The fee for mediation is calculated on the basis of an hourly rate, which is set individually and usually borne equally by the parties. The individual session usually lasts one and a half to two hours. The drafting of a notary agreement is charged according to the lawyers’ fee schedule.
The duration of a mediation process depends on the complexity of the conflict issues to be settled. We can give an estimate after the first meeting. As a rule, the costs of litigation are significantly higher. You can evaluate potential costs that you will incur in legal proceedings with the legal costs calculator.