Mediation can be an effective method for resolution among private individuals tackling or facing a dispute. These include conflicts either occurring between two individuals or between a person and an entity – be it a business, association or government body.
Close relationships such as family ties and friendships are subject to conflict that typically arises from inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour, financial arrangements, personal differences, or unfair distribution of assets. Disagreements can also occur among external relationships such as those with landlords, flatmates, neighbours, employers, colleagues – even strangers. They are often caused by uncooperative or intrusive behaviour, spatial issues, personality clashes, financial contracts, discrimination or bullying. In both instances, mediation may offer the individuals involved a peaceful resolve with a mutually beneficial, future-focused outcome.
People can come into conflict with businesses as well if a product is faulty or there has been misleading conduct or false advertising. Organisations that refuse to hire individuals based on race or sexual orientation may see applicants filing for discrimination. When retirement villages fail to serve residents properly which affects their quality of life in the facility, neglect on the part of management can put the health of residents at risk, and prompt their families to complain against the facility. On the other hand, a business may seek for dispute resolution with a customer that fails to comply with a contractual agreement, for example unpaid credit card bills or loans.
Some personal conflicts are caused by inadequacy in the delivery of public service, where the dispute involves the individual and the local, state or national government, or a community club or association. For instance, a person may file a complaint when charged with excessive parking fines. Alternatively, zoning policies and Regulations may be a source of conflict between an individual and their local council due to restrictions imposed on their home planning and development.
At SHAW Mediation Australia, we work with you to resolve personal disputes you may face with:
- Family members; including spouse, ex, de facto and partner
- Other relatives
- Friends and acquaintances
- Neighbourhood and community; including property concerns/damage, noise and nuisance, and pets
- Local council
- Landlord or tenant
The disputes might be concerning any of the following:
- Planning and development
- Personal injury
- Workplace; including conflict with colleagues or management
- Workplace injury
- Lack of equal opportunity, human rights
- Discrimination, racism, LGBT rights, victimisation, vilification
- Libel and slander, defamation
- Retirement, aged care
- Wills, trusts or estates
- Debt recovery
- Environmental protection
- Parking and fines
Alison Shaw of SHAW Mediation successfully mediated a contract and building works dispute for one of our clients. I found the mediation to be useful in requiring the disputing parties to be in one place at one time, allowing each side to express their position (and even vent their frustrations) whilst being kept in line by an experienced mediator. It was by no means certain to me beforehand that the matter would resolve at the mediation, but Alison’s guidance and systematic approach facilitated a commercial settlement. I am confident the parties would not have reached a better outcome if they had gone to court. I rate highly the mediation process used by Alison Shaw in this matter, and would recommend her to other clients considering mediation in the future.Matthew Hawke