Volunteers Make a Big Impact
(and We’re Thankful!)

Mediate BC is blessed to have a great many skilled and talented people who volunteer their time. By participating in our public events, writing for our blog, contributing to social media and even making videos, these amazing people have helped educate the public about their conflict resolution options and imparted useful skills in all sorts of contexts.

It is National Volunteer Week (April 23-29, 2017) in Canada., so Mediate BC wanted to take a moment to publicly recognize and thank our volunteers for their contribution and commitment.

Impact

At Mediate BC we lead, promote and facilitate effective conflict resolution. Our volunteers help us live this mission by:

  • Engaging over 2,100 people at events across the province
  • Helping us make 400,000 social media impressions
  • Contributing to over 20 blog posts
  • Developing & contributing to 7 Mediate BC CPD events
  • Developing new Standards of Conduct for Med-Arb
  • Providing feedback on our Complaints Process
  • And so much more!

Our volunteers are truly making an impact and Mediate BC is a stronger organization thanks to our volunteers. We appreciate your generosity and support.

Mediate BC also recognizes the countless volunteer hours that go into some of the joint events we’ve had with the following organizations this year: BCAMI, Conciliation and Arbitration Board of Canada, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, CoRe Conflict Resolution Society, Justice Education Society, Justice Institute of British Columbia, People’s Law School, and the Virtual Mediation Lab.

Our Volunteers

Thank you to our 2015/2016 Roster Mediator volunteers!

Rebecca Alleyne
Peter Altridge
Lisa Arora
Nancy Baker
Grace Baker
Kat Bellamano
Linda Bonnell
Joseph Boskovich
Kari Boyle
Joan Braun
Colleen Cattell, QC
Maria Constantinescu
Nicholette D’Angelo
Tara Day
Jerome Dickey
Jory Faibish
Katherine Fraser
Kaitlin Fulton
Carrie Gallant
Leanne Harder
Chris Harris
Brandon Hastings
Arlene H. Henry, QC
Carol Hickman, QC
Brenda Hooper
Darrin Hotte
Kyra Hudson
Paul Jacks
Aurora Johannson
Sharon Kelly
Vivian Kerenyi
Edwin Knight
Tara Kowalski
Wendy Lakusta
Michael Lomax
Gavin Mather
Yuki Matsuno
Elaine McCormack
Shelina Neallani
Leslie Palleson
Wayne Plenert
Donna Rintoul
Amy Robertson
Shelina Sayani
Colleen Selby
Amanda Semenoff
Maria Silva
Gordon Sloan
Norm Smookler
Donna Soules
Sharon Sutherland
Paul Taberner
Lori Williams

We would also like to recognize our Board of Directors and members of our Roster Committee, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis. Their guidance and oversight is invaluable to Mediate BC. These are time-consuming and intense volunteer roles that provide an enormous benefit to all of us in the mediation community. Thank you to all the current and former Directors and Roster Committee members who served Mediate BC over the past year:

Board of Directors
Brian Gibbard, Chair
Lori Charvat, Vice-Chair
Bill Keen, Treasurer
Richard Stewart, QC, Secretary
Judge Andrea Brownstone
Julie Daum
Gayle Bedard (former)
Jane Morley, QC (former)
Wayne Plenert (former)
Paul Taberner (former)
Roster Committee
Carol Hickman, QC, Chair
Richard Stewart, QC, Vice-Chair
Leanne Harder
Arlene H.Henry, QC
Angela Stadel
Jim Vilvang, QC
Dan Williams
Nick de Domenico (former)
Wayne Plenert (former)

Thank you all!

5 Ways to Wrap Up Conflict for the Holidays

Do holiday family gatherings cause you stress and anxiety? You are not alone.

What happens when we suddenly have all this compressed family time? For many families, it’s conflict. The gentle teasing goes a little too far. Old hurts, compounded by time and other issues that were never really resolved, are brought screaming to the surface. It does not have to be this way.

The Gift of Mediation - Amy RobertsonLast December a parent gave their family members the gift of mediation. An adult child had so much hurt built up with another family member they could no longer communicate or be in a room together.  The gift was an opportunity for them to work through their issues privately with a neutral person to see if they could find resolutions that would work for them.

I was asked if I would mediate between the family members in an effort to repair the relationship for a Christmas celebration where everyone would once again feel comfortable attending – or even consider attending! Everyone agreed to the terms of our work and progress was made. New boundaries were established and a plan with a timeline was agreed to in an effort to get things back on track.

As a mediator, here are my five tips to help families share information, understand different perspectives and hopefully get back on track:

1. Determine 3 things you each want the other person to hear.

Take turns without interrupting and really listen to each other. Anticipate hearing something you do not agree with and be prepared to focus on what they are saying anyway without reacting.

2. Keep an open mind and be curious.

Try to understand what is important to the other person and how they feel. Instead of making assumptions, ask questions. Try to avoid questions that include “why” as they can be perceived as judgmental or challenging. A simple option is to say “tell me more about this.”

3. Talk about the impact.

By focusing on the impact of the conflict or circumstance on you or someone you love, you will be less likely to trigger defensiveness in the other person.

4. Acknowledge that there is more than one solution.

Be flexible and think of at least two ideas or suggestions to move things forward.

5. Focus on the positive.

If you cannot agree on what has happened in the past, shift your focus to what you can both agree on to go forward.

If both people follow what they agree to (which is more likely when they create the terms together), it can do a lot to repair a relationship and rebuild trust over time.

All relationships have their challenges and it is common to find conflict in an important long-term relationship. How you choose to handle the conflict going forward is what really counts.
How you choose to handle the conflict going forward is what really counts. #relationships Click To Tweet

If you are unable to manage the conflict on your own, mediators can be an important part of moving things forward in a positive and constructive way. The dialogue may be intense, so some people like the idea of having someone impartial to both prepare and guide them through these tough conversations. Mediators help families resolve some or all of their issues in over 90% of cases[1].

November 19 to 26th was proclaimed Conflict Resolution Week in BC[2]. Following that lead, let’s seize the opportunity to improve our relationships and cherish the holiday season with our families. After all, do we really need more stuff?

Amy Robertson, Mediator www.victoriamediation.com
Amy Robertson

Guest blogger Amy Robertson is a Mediate BC Family and Civil Roster mediator in Victoria, BC. Amy keeps an active Family and Workplace mediation practice and she is a Facilitator of the Parenting After Separation Finances Course – for more information visit victoriamediation.com.

 

 

[1] Mediate BC 2015 Business of Mediation Survey

[2] http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/ConflictResolWk2016

Top 5 Reasons to Work with a Conflict Coach

Ugh. Another day at the office.

How many of your workers feel like this before coming to work? Many leaders and their employees go to work daily worrying about unresolved conflict. One study found that 85% of employees have to deal with conflict to some degree and 36% also spend a significant amount of time managing disputes.

The costs of unresolved conflict in the workplace are innumerable. From lower employee engagement and productivity and higher absenteeism, to loss of customers, as outward-facing employees experiencing stress and conflict often are not capable of representing your business in its best light.

Often it’s leaders who bear the brunt and carry the burden of conflict.

According to a recent Globe and Mail article, “Leaders who lack conflict management skills and avoid conflict often end up being less effective at achieving their defined business objectives, have more trouble managing people and being fulfilled by their job.”

Conflict Coaching to the rescue!

What is “Conflict Coaching”?

Geschftsleute halten zwei groe PuzzleteileConflict coaching emerged from the executive coaching and conflict resolution fields, as practitioners explored ways to support individual clients who were troubled by a specific conflict or seeking enhanced “conflict competency” – the ability to communicate and manage conflict. Pioneers like Cinnie Noble, Tricia Jones and Ross Binkert led the way, merging their expertise in conflict resolution – including third-party led methods like mediation – with individual-focused executive coaching that supports individuals in expanding their workplace competencies.

Conflict coaching is typically a one-on-one process, focused on individual goals and conflict management needs. Client goals might include enhancing conflict competency, integrating learning from conflict resolution training, or preparing for a difficult conflict conversation, or a more formal conflict resolution process such as mediation.

Effective leaders have high conflict competency, respond to pressures and change more constructively, build more productive teams and help create a positive work environment.

Top 5 Reasons to Work with a Conflict Coach

 

1. Hone your conflict competency and be a more effective leader.

Develop positive and productive conflict management skills. Increase your understanding of conflict dynamics and your awareness of your own conflict style. Learn how to mitigate the impact of conflict and manage conflict in more constructive and collaborative ways. Your coach will guide you through competency development.

2. You have unresolved conflict.

Your coach will help you analyze the conflict situation and develop a strategy for resolving or managing the conflict and build your problem-solving skills. Clients report increased confidence when supported by a conflict coach.

3. You are going to mediation.

Conflict coaching can help you prepare for mediation, during the mediation from behind-the-scenes, and after the mediation. Your coach will help you identify your goals for the mediation, and how to achieve them.

4. You want to integrate conflict resolution training.

Research shows that ROI on training is increased by up to 500% when training is coupled with or followed by one-on-one or group coaching.

5. Conflict Coaching benefits everyone.

Learning how to manage conflict effectively – rather than reacting to conflict in negative or potentially destructive ways – benefits the coaching client, and everyone the client deals with! Organizations benefit when their employees and leaders enhance their conflict competency.

Conflict coaching is dynamic and flexible, and is available to individuals one-on-one, and to groups and teams.

Carrie Gallant
Carrie Gallant

Carrie Gallant is a lawyer, Executive Coach and certified in Conversational Intelligence®. She is also a Mediate BC Civil Roster mediator, teacher and trainer. Carrie’s expertise in negotiation, conflict management and career counselling provides a rich foundation to her passion for helping others uncover what really matters and solve problems creatively. For more information, please contact carrie@gallantsolutionsinc.com.

 

Conflict Resolution Week 2016