Why We’re Different

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that uses an impartial third person, the mediator, to facilitate meaningful conversation between two or more people about difficult issues. The goal of the mediation process is to help people constructively engage in conflict and make informed and thoughtful decisions.

The mediator does not offer legal, financial or psychological advice, nor does a mediator tell parties what to do. Instead, the mediator invites the parties to speak about their concerns, helps them to hear information and each other in new ways, provides legal, financial, and other general information when requested to be considered and explored as the parties see fit, and to draft written summaries or agreements as made.

Our mediators practice from the transformative approach, meaning that they believe in fostering quality dialogue and informed decision-making. We create a space for clients to have conversations, explore possibilities, and come to agreements that work for them in their lives.

With the publication of our book, Being Relational: The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction & Lasting Change, to be released September 1, 2015, we will expand the scope of our offerings to reach wider audiences in need of process and method for maximizing well-being for themselves and others. Visit our Media page for more resources, videos, our blog and connections to our social media. These resources will help you understand how our approach is unique and different.

Louise is a recognized pioneer in the teaching and practice of transformative mediation – taking a relational approach to negotiations and conflict. The approach focuses on the quality of the interaction between people in conflict and difficult negotiations, believing always in the capacity of people to resolve difficulties and respecting always their right to self-determination. We encourage you to read more about this on our blog.

Better process. Better outcome.

Our emphasis is placed on quality dialogue as a pathway to common ground and greater understanding in disputes and difficult negotiations. Along the way, problems get solved, healing can occur, and parties gain clarity in decision making. That is the beauty of the transformative approach to conflict resolution and we specialize in making the conversation happen.

WHAT WE DON’T DO

If you have experienced mediation before, you may have experienced something different. That’s because mediators are informed by a variety of different theories – whether they tell you that or not. Another mediation approach is the facilitative approach – and if you have felt pushed to make an agreement, it might be because the mediator subscribes to that theory.

Our mediators are never directive, and our mediators will not:
• Decide how participants can talk to each other
• Make participants “play nice” and put a lid on any emotional expressions
• Decide what happened
• Investigate the facts
• Decide who’s right or who’s wrong
• Advocate for one participant’s ideas
• Make participants go into different rooms and use the mediator for “shuttle diplomacy”
• Offer and push for solutions that we think are reasonable even if you don’t agree
• Push for compromise
• Force agreement
• Control the conversation topics, agenda, guidelines, or ground rules
• Give legal advice (but we will give information about legal issues if appropriate)
• Evaluate your legal case/situation and decide what is a fair outcome

Our mediators are committed to fostering quality dialogue. Research in the field of conflict resolution states that when mediators employ an approach that uses transformative strategies, then participants are more likely to report a positive shift in their ability to work together, say that the other person listened and understands them better, indicate that underlying issues came out, and reach a personalized agreement (www.maryland ADRresearch.org/publications).

By choosing Baltimore Mediation, you choose a mediator who allows you control over the process, outcomes, and terms of agreement. Read more about what we do here.