Director of Group Services Susan Braakman discusses expanding her perspective and enhancing her skills through mediation training. A transformative journey on discovering the powerful impact of mediation.
This year has been a whirlwind of personal growth and professional development as I dedicated myself to completing mediation training with the ADR Instituut.
I recognize the critical role that mediation and facilitation play in my responsibilities at Seuss+, and that’s why I’m immensely proud to have honed my expertise through a comprehensive course.
Gaining invaluable insights for effective conflict resolution
Through this transformative opportunity, I gained invaluable insights and strategies for navigating the intricate landscape of conflict resolution.
Effective communication is, at the core, encompassing the ability to express viewpoints, emotions, feedback, or concerns with clarity and empathy. Cultivating the skills to defuse the stress of conflict during challenging conversations resulting in successful negotiations and favorable outcomes.
“During the mediation process, Susan showed her value by taking time to listen to each of our stories. Her feedback was to the point, hence not judgmental. By summarizing our stories she could show us the next steps to take, which we did” – Fellow course participant.
A childhood belief in fostering harmonious workplaces
My journey towards mediation began in my childhood, where I held a steadfast belief in my capacity to listen, provide unbiased feedback, and remain impartial. This mindset has persevered throughout my professional career, and fostering a harmonious workplace remains one of my primary motivations at Seuss+.
Thanks to my mediation training, I now understand that conflict can lead to positive transformations and deeper connections. However, skillfully managing conflict and preventing it from escalating is crucial to reaching meaningful resolutions.
It is remarkable to witness the calming effect of analyzing content, emotions, and intentions on individuals. This not only benefits the individuals themselves but also provides valuable insights to others regarding their emotional state.
Asking thought-provoking questions has proven to be a powerful technique, uncovering essential information about people’s interests, beliefs, values, and desires. Encouraging individuals to express themselves is paramount in effective communication, as it fosters understanding and acknowledgment.
Mediation Training: The Benefits for Seuss+
These newly acquired skills are poised to greatly benefit Seuss+ by facilitating challenging conversations, providing constructive feedback, embedding these skills within the team, and teaching others what I have learned. The management team will benefit from my approach of asking questions and assuming the role of a mediator during moments of tension or friction, fostering a sense of comfort in difficult situations.
When it comes to decision-making, having a neutral individual in the room can be invaluable. By identifying objective criteria, exploring alternative solutions, and finding shared interests, the mediator creates connections, mutual understanding, and pragmatic pathways forward.
The power of mediation as an alternative to litigation
Conflicts are inevitable when people come together in organizations. However, resorting to legal action should not always be the first solution. Litigation can be time-consuming, costly, and further exacerbate the situation.
Instead, mediation offers a better alternative. It provides a confidential and secure environment for resolving conflicts, all while being significantly less expensive (up to 75% less than litigation). Mediation focuses on cooperation rather than competition and aims to address the emotions, interests, and relationships of all parties involved.
As a neutral and unbiased mediator, my goal is to guide parties toward finding solutions and improving their relationships, whether it be between groups or individuals.
Curious how I might be able to help your organization? Let’s chat