The difference between mediation and conciliation is:
- a Mediator offers no assessment on the merits of either side of a case but works positively and expertly with the parties to help them achieve a resolution of all (or as many as possible) differences between them. A resolution of an issue is where all parties involved can at least live with, and preferably be pleased with, and they commit to that. Generally, but not always, that commitment will be required in writing and signed off by all parties including the mediator.
- A Conciliator does make assessments and expresses those assessments either individually to either party or jointly to all parties on the merits of the arguments of all parties. The conciliator will seek to facilitate a fair outcome that all parties can live with, by giving advice and guidance on ideas and ways to reach resolution of the differences between the parties. The conciliated outcomes will be committed to and signed off by all parties in writing, sometimes in formal Deed form.
Katrina Murphy offers KMIR clients expert assistance with both mediation and conciliation by acting as a mediator or conciliator or representing/supporting clients in mediations or conciliations including Fair Work Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission conciliations and mediations.
Katrina’s view on best practice on mediation and conciliation is:
- Be prepared. Take the time to find out and understand all the minute details of your case.
- Be empathetic. Try to understand what the other party is feeling even if you do not agree.
- There is no place for threats, derogatory or intimidatory conduct in any mediation or conciliation.
- Everyone deserves to be heard but only if they are being logical, are not knowingly talking nonsense and are prepared to respectfully listen to the other party and the facilitator.
Please contact Katrina to discuss how mediation and conciliation methods could help assist your workplace issues.
For further advice and information on this topic, refer to the ‘Articles’ section of the KMIR website.