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  • Writer's pictureEd Johnson

Stones in the road - avoid, address or destroy in mediation

With the continued backlog of cases 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 should we add we also do live in person mediation too! So please do not feel that you cannot contact us if you would like to mediate but wish to do so remotely.

There are always bumps or rocks in the road on the mediation path, some can be avoided some need to be examined and moved aside and some need to be crushed into sand.

I'm reminded of the visual demonstration with rocks, pebbles and sand in a jar which helps some clients realise what they are not looking at and to move one which I've used before. but this week when I talk about Boulder and mediation I’m referring to the city in Colorado (who said Nanu Nanu?) where neighbour mediation has been introduced at no cost to participants.

You know full well that as the weather improves, you hang your washing out, and then rush to get it back in not because of the rain but because of next door’s barbeque smoking you smalls!

It’s a typical summer neighbour dispute which will often have underlying issues like hedge height or noise in the evening,

In Boulder the Community Mediation and Resolution Centre neighbours or tenants and landlords (it’s been a while but yes one of my favourite topics is back) can attend for free at their convenience with mediation offered in both Spanish and English (albeit the rather odd American version of the latter).

Neighbour mediation is one of those matters that comes up time and again, whether it’s the fence, the pet escaping or leaking rooves causing the problem give me a call and I’ll help you out (reasonable rates I’m afraid not for free shazbot you may say!)

Great article by David Liddle this week and whilst I never like to advertise competing services I think not to have a look at David’s reasoning on why mediation skills are essential for good leadership (HMG won’t be taking note) would be simply wrong.

I agree and encourage you to consider David’s wise words as to why mediation isn’t seen as essential for leaders (unlike other business strategies which Lord Sugar would no doubt bang on about) but why mediation skills should be at the core of any business and therefore part of the skill set of the leaders involved.

I regret not having trained sooner, accepted earlier and understood better the role mediation can play in previous businesses where I’ve worked, but now I have I can say it’s helped out with various employers I’ve worked with as a mediator, whether it be as a direct result of engagement or through training.

Njoki Nyanjui piece on mediation in Kenya is worth a consideration this week as well.

She talks about the development of mediation in Kenya from the grass roots (hence picture) family unit mediation where disputes would be dealt with by the immediate family having a meeting a frank exchange of views and finding ways forward to the current use by the judicial system, including introducing virtual mediation during the pandemic.

I rather like Njoki’s reference to the judiciary still having more to do to spread the “gospel of mediation”, which I would guess were it ever written would read at chapter 1 verse 1 “thou shalt listen to understand not to respond”.

I note Njoki is volunteering as a mediator I hope for her, like me, it turns into a paid career.

The three pillars of mediation remain it’s voluntary, it’s confidential, the mediator is independent, by using those pillars to support your work the parties keep control, save costs, save time and energy and reduce stress. Finally this one is mediation, mediator jointly appointed, areas of discussion agreed and intention to be bound by the outcome.

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 move the pebbles, the rocks or the sand.

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 me at 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

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