CONFLICT RESOLUTION FAQs

What is the right conflict resolution process in the circumstances?

It can be difficult to know which conflict resolution process is optimal as this depends on your objectives, the number of parties, how long the conflict has been going on for and other contextual factors. We can support you in this decision by talking through the process options once we have a deeper understanding of your specific needs and the context.

We offer conflict resolution services such as mediation, facilitated discussion and conflict coaching. It may be that other processes such as EAP, a team dynamics assessment, a health and wellbeing assessment or training are more appropriate in your circumstances or that a combination of these would achieve your objectives. These are all services we provide.

What is the difference between a mediation and a facilitated discussion?

Both mediation and facilitated discussion are interest based processes in that they focus on interests rather than positions or rights. A facilitated discussion is particularly suitable when multiple parties are involved as it allows for more flexible exchange of dialogue. Generally, a structured mediation process suits entrenched disputes whereas a facilitated discussion suits workplace conversations that have not yet descended into entrenched conflict.

When is mediation or facilitated discussion not appropriate?

Mediation or facilitated discussion may not be appropriate if

(1) You are seeking advice or solutions from the mediator

(2) You are seeking to substantiate a complaint

(3) One or more participants demonstrate serious contempt for each other

(4) The participants are not approaching the process with bona fides

(5) One or more participants lack the capacity to engage due to health reasons

Discuss your concerns with us and we will support you to make the right process decision.

What is the process for allocating a conflict resolution consultant?

Converge International consultants are located in all States and Territories, including metropolitan, regional and country areas and have a wide range of qualifications and experience in conflict resolution. Once we have a clear understanding of the conflict, we allocate the case to the consultant who is best suited to provide you with dedicated assistance.

How much time does a mediation or facilitated discussion usually take?

Up to 8 hours should be allowed for a mediation or facilitated discussion between 2 people. Our processes have been carefully designed to ensure the best possible outcomes and appropriate time needs to be allowed for these processes to be implemented. Factors that add to the time to allow include the number of participants, the complexity of the conflict and the status of health of the participants.

Contact us for an estimate!

What is the breakdown on the time for a mediation/facilitated discussion?

We brief our mediators/facilitators about the conflict and they then have discussions with you to gauge any further relevant facts. This can take up to 60 minutes. Individual sessions with each of the participants assist participants to understand the process and to prepare for the joint discussions and these generally take between 60-90 minutes. The participants are then brought together in a joint session that usually takes between 2-4 hours. It is important for the mediator/facilitator to have follow up discussions with the participants and the referrer regarding the outcome of the mediation/facilitated discussion and the suggested next steps. This can take between 60-90 minutes. All up, these processes take an average of 8 hours for conflicts between 2 persons.
Can the time be abridged for a mediation/facilitated discussion?

Some workplace conflicts have lasted weeks, months or even years before they come to us. It is not reasonable to expect resolution of such conflicts in less than 8 hours.

If immediate and short term relief is required, a one hour session with one of our EAP consultants can assist the employee to debrief their conflict experience and to prepare for sessions with the mediator/facilitator.

Contact us on 1 300 OUR EAP. Alternatively contact our conflict assist team at crs@convergeintl.com.au for rapid short term support for conflict situations.

What if one or more of the participants have health issues?

We screen all cases for potential risks including the mental and physical health of participants. If medical issues are present, we seek more detailed information to assess the relative safety of proceeding with conflict resolution services and to decide on the most appropriate steps forward. In some cases, we request the participant to provide consent from their treating medical practitioner before they participate in the process. The mediator/facilitator will establish ground rules for the discussions in order to accommodate any special needs of the participants.

Can a participant bring a support person?

Yes, a participant can bring a support person into the process. The support person is often a friend, family member or union representative. It is preferable that the support person is not a work colleague. The support person does not have an advocacy role in the mediation/facilitated discussion and may not provide their personal views or interrupt the process. The support person must sign a confidentiality agreement and is subject to the same rules regarding confidentiality as the participants. The support person is there to provide support to the participant on the day and may have a slightly more active role in the private sessions.

Can the mediator/facilitator provide recommendations or advice?

The mediator/facilitator is not able to provide advice or recommendations to a client. Their role is to support a constructive conversation between the participants. They may provide recommendations regarding suitable conflict interventions for a presenting situation.

What information is available about the mediation?

We recognise that you need information about the services you have contracted to receive. We will collaborate with you to ensure your information needs are met, so far as the national practice standards allow.

The national standards for mediators prevent discussion of any statements (verbal or written) made during the mediation or facilitated discussion process with anyone else unless the written consent of the participants has been obtained.

We can provide you with administrative information about whether the mediation/facilitated discussion proceeded and whether or not a resolution was reached. We can also provide information on who attended the mediation, the dates of preliminary sessions and joint sessions, a high level description of the matter under discussion and any agreed outcomes the parties have consented to share (and to whom).

How much do conflict resolution services cost?

Please contact us for information on the cost of conflict resolution services. Converge International clients can access a range of services including EAP as well as conflict resolution services. Even if you are not an existing client of Converge International, you are very welcome to access any of our services. Contact us to discuss the pricing options.