Chris Rowe’s Approach
Chris is convinced that the best time to resolve disputes is at the very earliest stage, before they degenerate into destructive relationships. Much of her employment work is aimed at helping employers and others recognize potential problems and ask for help at an early stage. She achieves this by working with individuals, businesses and organizations on early intervention practices and management programmes to avoid the escalation of conflict into major disputes.
Early intervention is the goal; but reality is often different. It seems to be human nature to wait until we’re in trouble before seeking help.
When approached to assist with resolution of a dispute, Chris is careful to meet with the parties to establish that an appropriate working relationship is possible, before proceeding to mediation.
There are occasions when preliminary separate meetings encourage such focus on the positions of the parties, that they decide they do not need a joint mediation session. If this works for the parties, that is all that matters. This is an example of the benefits of the flexibility of mediation.
While Chris likes to meet with parties separately before any joint session, she observes that parties often like to remain in joint session for as long as they are making headway in resolving the issues between them, and she encourages parties to engage directly with each other if they can.
As Mediator, Chris will manage the process in the best interests of the parties. This may mean occasional separate confidential meetings with one or more parties, (during mediation with all parties) but if the parties are working constructively together she will not suggest separate meetings.
Wherever possible Chris as Mediator encourages the parties to be together at the conclusion of the mediation, whatever the outcome.