Mediation is a process for resolving disputes with the help of a third-party, neutral mediator. The mediator does not provide legal advice or representation. The mediator's role is to facilitate the process and help the parties reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter that brought them to the table.
The training was excellent. It was comprehensive and full of relevant real world examples and scenarios in which to implement the various techniques and methods being taught. I was in a class with 17 other professionals, mostly attorneys, an EEOC investigator, a pair of judges, two folks from the Philadelphia County Sheriff's Office, and others with social work backgrounds. The knowledge I've gained in the past 6 years at the PHRC as well as my independent research on mediation prepared me well for the training.
The instructor, Cheryl Cutrona, did a wonderful job with her explanations and presentation. Her wealth of experience was evident and I was fortunate to have her shadow two of my mock mediations personally. I told her it was like having Emeril Lagasse watching me try to bake my first souffle. It was a pressure cooker, but it was such a good opportunity to get those first stumbles out of the way and get live, immediate constructive feedback that I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Christopher J Young
Mediator, PA Human Relations Commission
Benefits of Mediation
- Parties determine their own outcome
- More process options for parties than traditional litigation
- Unlike in court, there are no rules of evidence or procedure; the parties can introduce anything they believe to be important, and even represented parties may speak for themselves, rather than through a lawyer
- Process is more collaborative than adversarial
- Mediation can preserve, rather than harm, relationships
- Broader scope of resolutions available than in litigation where litigants are limited to legal remedies and damages. In mediation, the parties are limited only by their creativity
- The resolution may be memorialized in a written settlement document outlining the parties' decisions, which may be enforceable in court
Cutrona Resolutionary Services provides mediation for interpersonal and group disputes, including:
- Custody and Divorce
- Consumer complaints
Cutrona Resolutionary Services Mediation Processes
Multiparty mediation offers all the same benefits of two-person mediation. This process is designed to address situations involving three or more parties, groups or organizations.
Resolutionary Services provides Online Dispute Resolution using a secure, encrypted, audio-visual platform. Virtual mediation can be arranged at your convenience to mediate or arbitrate issues during times when social distancing is required, and to resolve logistical barriers to meeting face to face, such as geography, intense emotions, and disagreements over venue. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first step is for the mediator to conduct a conflict assessment to advise the conveners about process options. Depending on the situation, the recommendation could be for the parties to engage in:
- Multiparty mediation where designated representatives sit at the table;
- Facilitated dialogue where all parties to the conflict participate; or
- A combination of Conflict Coaching; Communication and Conflict Resolution Education; and other group processes
Let Cutrona Resolutionary Services provide an experienced, neutral facilitator to make your meetings less difficult and more productive.
While Multiparty Mediation addresses conflicts, group processes are used BEFORE conflicts erupt to plan, strategize, make difficult conversations less stressful and more constructive, and create effective follow-up plans. The facilitator will conduct a Needs Assessment to determine the best process to use and will work with the conveners to set the stage for success. Facilitated Group Processes include:
- Meeting Facilitation
- Facilitated Dialogues
- Strategic Planning
- Board Development
Conflict Coaching is a one-on-one process designed to help an individual gain a deeper understanding of the conflict they are experiencing, think about how the conflict is impacting them and the others involved, and develop the best plan of action for addressing the situation. When necessary, the individual can also work with the coach to enhance the skills they need to manage the conflict successfully. For example, conflict management styles, communication strategies, or negotiation plans.
Conflict coaching can be face-to-face or by video conference (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Face Time). Each session lasts about two hours. Depending on the complexity of the issues involved and the special needs of the individual, conflict coaching typically takes two to four sessions.
While mediation addresses conflicts, Restorative Practices attempt to improve and repair relationships that have been damaged. Restorative processes involve the people who have experienced harm, those who are responsible and, sometimes, families, friends and support people. Restorative Practices are always voluntary. There are a variety of processes that can be used, depending on the issues and the number of people involved.
- Restorative Meetings
- Family Group Conferences
- Victim-Offender Conferences (when a crime has been committed)
- School-based processes (e.g., morning meetings, community building, circles, restorative meetings)