top of page
  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson you want to know a secret? Oh Ok it's just listening in mediation

With the limited access to courts and lawyers mediation is even more so now than ever the best choice to find a resolution for your dispute. Get your dispute resolved now while you can’t go anywhere you can really concentrate on what’s important and what deserves your time and energy.

Northwest Mediation continues to use Zoom, Skype and FaceTime as well as the phone and emails to resolve disputes so please do not feel that you cannot contact us as there are limits on physical meetings.

Much to your relief no poetry this week.

Starting with unsuccessful mediation this week (it’s not a panacea would have been a good line for last week’s poetry) and at the House of Mouse and their news arm ABC.

If you’re aware of the Jennifer Aniston/Reece Witherspoon series “The Morning Show” on Apple TV some of the history in the case against ABC’s former news executive Michael Corn (formerly producer of “Good Morning America”) might seem familiar.

Not only are allegations levelled at Corn but ABC are named as defendant for effectively turning a blind eye to his actions over time.

Unfortunately mediation talks held in June, but with details leaking now, were unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Kirstyn Crawford, ABC news producer has now filed court papers in which the allegations are set out in detail, at the heart of which is the suggestion that for 10 years the House of Mouse ignored complaints about Corn’s conduct.

Corn was removed by ABC in April with no reason being given for his leaving after 20 years. As I often say simply because mediation does not work in the first instance does not mean you should not reconsider it at each step of proceedings and it may be that the parties come back to mediation once the court proceedings are a little more developed.

Listening to understand is one of those phrases we use in mediation a lot. Not listening to respond, but hearing people out to understand their concerns, feelings and what the background to their actions were.

In Avondale, Cincinnati in the wake of the tragic cases of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and others, work to help the police and communities understand each other has been understandably at the forefront of some city projects.

One simple but effective tool is the “mediation mural” (click the link to see it) which in bright colours requests that you “HEAR US OUT”.

When the relationships between police and community were deteriorating the city arranged for mediation meetings in which officers met with the community to discuss their own concerns, fears and stories.

Jeni Jenkins (artist) said that out of those meetings the message to “hear us out” was the key tenet ”I thought that that resonated with everything they were saying”.

Either side of the phrase the mural depicts black youths and police officers and Jenkins admits the mural won’t solve the problems but it is a “seed” to plant the idea that listening rather than reacting is a way to reach a conclusion without violence that flows so readily from misunderstanding.

Forbes has some other ways to foster positive engagement via mediation, this time in the context of the work place.

Taking tips from the young enterprise council members eight ways to encourage “good vibes”.

Find joint goals, we often start in mediation by finding what people have in common (sometimes it’s wanting their child to grow up healthy and well rounded, others it’s to live in peace with neighbours) in work it might just be getting on well enough to be able to go home at the end of the day.

Channelling conflict not damping it down but understanding it (often by finding those common goals) encouraging positive conflict (I can disagree with you but it doesn’t mean either one of us is wrong) can lead to surprising outcomes and innovation, that requires senior members to accept they aren’t always right and that means showing some vulnerability (that’s ok we’re all human, even you).

Find the truth – I’m going to disagree here, it doesn’t exist truth is a matter of perception, however hat the contributor means is the underlying issue, not truth, never truth.

Discouraging cliques or encouraging inclusivity difficult with new members of teams and even harder these days when so many people are still working remotely (and intend to continue doing so).

Encourage openness - polite openness not spouting off opinions at every turn but having forums where everything can be discussed, fears nipped in the bud, plans examined and ideas recognised.

Team events – if you, like me, felt your skin crawl at that phrase just remember some team events work for some people, rarely all people so don’t just have one every year, at the same lazer tag/LARP/wall climbing/bar venue. Think about your team, their family requirements might not fit in with the event so don’t make it obligatory and don’t pout when some say no thanks.

Keep drama and ego out – well yes, what can you say absolutely right but let the emotion out first so you can understand the underlying issues if there are disputes

Listen equally and fairly – I started with listening and we’re back again, listening is key to understanding which is key to resolving disputes.

In person or via electronic media as we’ve said before choose to mediate early and resolve your issues effectively, timeously, and with less stress and costs than going to your solicitor so you can get out choose a different path, not quite the road less travelled but perhaps the path less adversarial. You have an interest in the outcome the sooner you get round the mediation table the quicker you can move forward and avoid the grilling a cross examination in court would put you through.

By having a deep and meaningful discussions with parties the mediator elicits what the true “red-lines” are and where there is the potential for compromise, it is with this structured period of reflection that the parties are then able to reach an accord.

The flexible nature of mediation and the possible outcomes make it an ideal way to resolve disputes in an ever-changing world and the open nature of discussions in mediation whilst remaining confidential allows all sides to engage fully in the process and understand the needs of all involved allowing parties to reach a conclusion which both sides can live with and move on.

There are so many situations which could have been resolved by early intervention of mediation it continues to surprise me the lengths the public will go to avoid referral.

Whether you need a mediator to help out with a construction matter in the Northwest, or council’s plans in Cheshire, a civil mediator in London, a commercial mediator in Manchester, a dispute resolution for your family in Liverpool, a neighbourhood mediation in Stockport, then our mediators at Northwest Mediation can help.

Mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than running any case to court, it can help with any dispute whether it's an employment issue or the sale at an under value of a property, a fight with a neighbour, family issues, commercial disputes, civil mediation or inheritance, wills and probate arguments contact Northwest Mediation on 07931318347 or via email at

neighbour mediation; commercial dispute resolution; civil mediation; commercial dispute; corporate dispute; commercial mediator; family mediation; inheritance wills probate mediation; property mediator; civil mediator; civil litigation; fast track mediation; injury mediation

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page