Albert Einstein once said, "In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity." Our mediators are experienced in helping parties to make the most of the opportunity of mediation – to both achieve a resolution now and to set the stage for a more productive relationship in the future. We hear from all parties about what they value. We elicit ideas from them about how to move forward and facilitate collaboration. We take the time to examine what needs to happen and who needs to be empowered to bring those ideas to fruition.
As important as the work at the mediation table is the work to enhance the sustainability of the outcome over the long term. Are there feedback mechanisms or check in points to be integrated in the agreement to ensure that it will last? What can be done to maximize the opportunity to reach agreement here and better position parties to navigate, anticipate and prevent conflict in the future? Mediation can be a resource-intensive commitment. Our mediators work with parties to ensure the value of the effort, not only for the issue at hand but also for future issues.
"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity."
Voices of Value customizes each facilitation to meet the needs of the parties involved. Are parties coming together to share information and perspectives? Or are parties coming together with the purpose of achieving a decision? Voices of Value crafts its approach accordingly.
Voices of Value sets the stage for a productive facilitation by attending to details before, during, and after the session. Pre-meeting, our facilitators hear from the parties. What do they value? What outcomes do they hope to achieve? How can we maximize this opportunity? The facilitation process is informed by these voices.
During the facilitation, the facilitation team manages the procedural aspects of the meeting, thus freeing parties to exchange necessary information, build or bolster important relationships, and achieve established objectives.
Voices of Value also invests the necessary time to set the stage for post-meeting work. We ask questions during the session about what steps need to be taken to achieve the goals of the meeting. Who needs to be empowered – and how – to follow through? And how does the group ensure that what they achieved will be sustainable?
Dispute Systems Design
Whether an organization is looking to improve an established dispute system or design a system from scratch, Voices of Value can help.
The success of a dispute systems design program lies in a comprehensive understanding of the dispute dynamic of an organization. Our dispute system designers engage voices throughout an organization to hear concerns, to learn of resolution practices to date, and to understand challenges. These voices inform the design process.
Voices of Value takes a comprehensive approach that reflects the organizational interest in managing disputes. At the same time, as dispute resolvers we understand that an effective dispute system must encompass a wealth of accessible and responsive mechanisms to address concerns before they rise to disputes. Thus, while the end product is a system to manage disputes, equipping organizations with skills and tools to prevent concerns from bubbling to disputes is at the heart of the work.
Abraham Maslow said, "People who are only good with hammers see every problem as a nail." Voices of Value provides one-on-one conflict coaching to clients interested in expanding their toolbox – beyond hammers - to more effectively anticipate, manage, and learn from conflict and change.
Coaching is an interactive and self-reflective process that requires reflection on the past, intensive examination of the present, and commitment and hard work for the future. It is not easy. But it can be invaluable for clients who want to seize the opportunities presented by conflict and change.
The voice of the client informs the conflict coaching path. What strategies have worked well in the past and what have fallen short? Are there current challenges to be addressed? What challenges are anticipated? Given the context, there may be an initial focus on responsive tools to navigate a current crisis or change. This focus will be complemented by an opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of the approach and strategize about additional tools to proactively anticipate and embrace a challenge or change in the future.