On Friday morning, I spent nearly 3 solid hours drawing. On my feet. With fancy markers. This is not my normal.
I’m a word person. I’m into language and reading. In my spare time I love crosswords and even word search puzzles. I rarely draw. And these days I’m also rarely on my feet for three hours unless I’m the one running a workshop!
So what was going on Friday morning? The Mid-Atlantic Facilitation Network’s workshop, Drawing for Graphic Facilitation, by Brian Tarallo of Lizard Brain Solutions. When you teach, it’s important to get people to do what they’re learning so they retain it. So, shortly after introductions, Brian got us all up and drawing - stick figures, symbols, shapes, connectors, callouts, containers, and more. Trust me, it was not high art… for most of us, anyway!
The first thing we did was draw a symbol that captured how we approach facilitation. Being forced to draw, in one minute, in a tiny space, this is what...
Mediation is a great way to resolve conflicts, and it can work well in a wide variety of settings. Here’s just a small list:
Workplace issues amongst coworkers
Performance management issues
Conflict between co-owners of a business
Civil matters like property ownership or damage disputes
Business-to-business conflicts about work quality
Family decision-making, such as help to make decisions essential to writing a will or financial planning
While mediators generally do not want to know much about the dispute in a specific case until they know all parties have agreed to mediation, it can be helpful for parties to understand some basics about mediation.
The mediator is an impartial third party. The mediator should have no interest in how the conflict will be resolved. If you feel like a mediator may be biased, speak up and ask them about it.
This is also why a mediator may ask you to stop telling them about your case early on - in initial phone...
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution, meaning: If two people or businesses have a disagreement, a mediator will help them find a resolution. Mediation is typically categorized as a form of alternative dispute resolution. As in, mediation is an alternative to using lawyers and the legal system. So, instead of suing a person or company, a mediator can help people find a mutually acceptable resolution to their problem.
Bonus: Mediation is also quicker and cheaper than the courts.
The main ways in which mediation is different from using lawyers and judges are:
Mediation is confidential. Courts are typically public.
Mediation is voluntary. Courts generally impose consequences if a party does not show up.
Mediation is all about self-determination - in other words, the parties create their own solutions. In a court, a judge decides for the parties.
Often, mediators are attorneys who recognize the fact that their unique skill set is not actually best suited to all cases. So...
Ever hear someone complain that they can’t get anything done because “I’m in meetings all day!”
Hanging out with friends is one thing – no one really wants a plan or an agenda if you just want to spend time with people you like. But work is different. Everyone has the same goal (or complementary goals) – to do a good job, to make money, to provide a service, to sell to customers. Work meetings should move everyone closer to the goal, not farther from it.
So how do you make your meetings useful?
Know your purpose.
Notice I did not say “topic.” Anyone can have a topic. That’s just the thing we’re talking about. In contrast, “purpose” implies a goal. There is a reason that people need to have an in-person conversation about, well, whatever the topic may be. What is everyone trying to accomplish together? How will this meeting make it happen? That’s your goal.
Only invite necessary people.
To facilitate simply means to make something easier. Professional facilitation services make meetings go more smoothly. An outside facilitator is especially helpful when your meetings require decisions. And honestly, why have a meeting where a decision isn’t necessary?
For example, if your group needs to discuss:
Project updates and management issues
A strategic growth direction
Creating or updating a strategic plan
A potential policy change
then bringing in a facilitator from outside your organization lays the foundation for a successful discussion.
A professional facilitator will help your group:
Stay focused and timely.
Ensure all voices are heard.
Create decision-making criteria before an idea takes hold.
So how does facilitation work at Chantilly Mediation and Facilitation? Every facilitation engagement is unique. The process is customized for your group’s needs, from timing and space to considerations for personalities on the...