Conflicts and disputes arise all the time in business. The big question is not whether they will arise, but how to solve them. There are different ways to do this. One way is to let other people decide over the parties, such as courts or arbitral tribunals. Another way is that the parties themselves will determine the outcome, as in mediation. The point here is that the parties themselves - and nobody else - know best what will satisfy their respective needs and interests. Mediation is particularly appropriate in disputes between parties who have on-going business relationships. This can for instance concern disputes regarding joint ownership of companies and partnerships of other kinds, as well as in tenancy, labour and construction disputes.
A mediator is neutral. The mediator does not decide over the parties and does not provide legal or other advice. The mediator’s task is instead to guide the parties to a consensual solution. This can be done in joint meetings, in which both parties and the mediator participate, and in private meetings between the mediator and each party. Nothing of what is said in private to the mediator is passed on to the other party, unless the parties and the mediator have agreed on it. The mediator will determine what procedure best promotes the dialogue between the parties, in order to finally reach an agreement. The mediator occasionally acts “the devil’s advocate” in individual meetings in order to test the strength of the party’s arguments. This is one way for the mediator to bring the parties closer together. It is effective for the solution that the parties can speak freely with the mediator, in a way that is difficult for one party to do directly to the other party. The mediator is bound by confidentiality by law. Through a confidentiality agreement the parties will also be bound by secrecy regarding everything that have occurred and been said during the mediation.
Normally the mediation is completed in one day. If there is a settlement agreement this is possible to have enforceable if the parties so desire.
Through mediation, the parties may save much time and money and, at the best, keep their creative business relationships, when compared to court or arbitration. The earlier in a conflict or dispute mediation is used, the greater the possibility to reach an agreement. An appropriate time is after the parties - and later their counsels - has tried, but has not reached all the way to a solution, but before a party chooses to go to court or arbitration.
The purpose of workplace mediation is, at the earliest stage after a conflict has occurred in a workplace, handle it with the help of a third party, that is a mediator. If dealing with a conflict in the early stages you probably increase the possibilities to avoid sick leaves, burnout and loss of production, and by extension terminations and subsequent labor disputes.
Workplace conflicts are very much a work environment issue the employer not only has an obligation to deal with, but should reasonably have business economic incentives to manage as early and as optimally as possible.
Many children are forced to be part of a divorce or separation between the parents and unfortunately even heart-rending court disputes over custody, residence and access issues. In order to contribute to a change in this situation Gert Nilsson offers mediation in such disputes, in collaboration with a child psychologist to ensure the child’s best. The idea of mediation is to help parents to find consensus concerning custody, residence and access issues, instead of dispute in court.
The mediation procedure of such disputes usually goes as follows. Gert Nilsson speaks privately with the parents and their lawyers before the mediation meeting. The child psychologist also speaks privately with the parents, but also one or more times with the child or children. The aim is to identify each child's best in the current situation. Then a mediation session is held, which normally lasts for a full day, led by Gert Nilsson. Also the child psychologist contributes in this meeting, which usually is appreciated by the parents. If they reach an amicable solution during the mediation session a written agreement is set up, by which the various issues are regulated. Sometimes the lawyers are present at the mediation meeting, sometimes not.
The advantages of mediation in child custody disputes, compared with the court process, are for instance that the parents are helped to focus on the child or children, instead of the other parent's shortcomings, as well as the present and the future, instead of what has been. Moreover, in the mediation procedure the parents themselves - and not a judge - decide how the relevant issues should be settled in the best way for their children. In addition, mediation saves both time and money and also improves the possibility for the children to feel good and for the parents to better function in their parental relationship.
Therefore, it is recommended to disputing parents, lawyers and other representatives in family disputes and judges, to propose mediation, preferably as early as possible during the court process. When the court has appointed a mediator, the state pays the costs thereof.