SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht

Mediation / Dispute resolution

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht

The mediator - Monique Spee
.
Since 2012, I have had the privilege to not only be a lawyer, but also an officially registered mediator at, and a member of, the Dutch mediation federation Mediatorsfederatie Nederland (MfN). In my experience, both individuals and companies often have most to gain from proper dialogue, and from resolving conflicts or avoiding them in the first place. In my role as a mediator, I get people embroiled in a business or personal conflict talking again, and probe their underlying interests and motives. This breaks the stalemate and (more often than not) leads to greater mutual understanding - paving the way, in many cases, for a solution.
.
If the problem turns out to be more deep-seated, I involve horses in the mediation process, as they possess a pure and infinite wisdom and an innate feel for the underlying dynamic.
.
My style as a mediator can be described as directive, to the point, and solution-focused. I like to make the parties involved feel safe and equal, to reopen the lines of communication and enable the parties, under my guidance, to move towards solutions.
.
When is mediation appropriate?
.
I would be happy to help if you are faced with an ongoing or imminent labour conflict, a dispute about an employee's fitness or incapacity for work, or if the company doctor has prescribed mediation. You can also come to me if you have a dispute with your shareholder(s), fellow executives, director(s), or partner in a general partnership, or if arguments have arisen over the sale of a horse. These are just a few examples of the type of mediation I conduct. Please feel free to contact me if your problem is not listed, as it is highly likely that I can help.
.
National and international
.
I also have a lot of experience of mediations with an international dimension, such as labour conflicts at multinationals, or Dutch companies that employ workers of differing nationalities. I can easily conduct mediation sessions in German or English.
.
How does mediation work?
.
If a problem, whether private or business-related, arises between people or organizations and the parties involved are unable to agree on a solution, mediation is one option to resolve the conflict. This is usually a far less drastic step than taking someone to court. Mediation can also save time and money, as a mediation process is much quicker and therefore less costly. During mediation, the parties must work towards a solution based on their underlying, common interests. The mediator provides expert support. In many cases, mediation culminates in a solution.
.
Mediators specialize in facilitating negotiations, focusing on common interests rather than individual views. A mediator has been trained to use particular techniques to highlight those interests, along with any underlying obstacles. Mediators are impartial and independent; their role is to help find a solution. Both parties must trust and have confidence in the mediator.
.
Voluntary participation and confidentiality
.
Taking part in mediation is optional, but not without obligations: the parties must be willing to work together towards a solution. Everyone who attends mediation must treat the content of the mediation and of any negotiations with the utmost confidentiality. This ensures an atmosphere of security and trust, which is essential to breaking deadlock in the dispute and getting communication going.

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht

Mediation with horses

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht

The role of horses in mediation
.
With my passion for horses, combined with my faith in mediation as a means of resolving conflicts, I sometimes use horses in my mediation processes, working with an experienced and certified horse trainer. Horses mirror the conscious and unconscious signals we give off and do not react to rational thought processes. When they observe the horse, and feel its energy, the mediation parties gain an insight into the situation which may already have occurred to them on a subconscious level. This creates space and freedom to look at the situation differently, and deal with it differently. It also clears the way for a solution to the conflict.
.
To reiterate, mediation is not just about the parties’ underlying interests, but also about the underlying obstacles (feelings or beliefs, annoyances, old wounds) which, on the face of it, make a conflict seem insurmountable to the parties, and lead them to consider going to court.
.
Horses mirror the conscious and unconscious signals we give off and do not react to rational thought processes. If, for instance, during mediation between an employer and employee in a labour dispute, one party 'thinks’ that he or she would like a supervisory role but, deep down, feels uneasy about taking on this role, the horse will respond to the unease, or fear, by displaying fear or agitation. This is interpreted by the horse trainer/mediator to give the parties an insight into the cause of the situation, and bring to light the origin of the feeling of unease. The parties can then take concrete steps in the direction they are pursuing and that feels right to them, armed with an understanding of, and an insight into each other’s underlying interests, feelings, and obstacles or blocks that had previously prevented the parties from finding a solution.
.
During this horse mediation session, the horse also shows us where and/or around whom the greatest amount of 'energy’ is concentrated, without passing any positive or negative judgement. The horse trainer/mediator facilitates the whole process, without too much dialogue. When they observe the horse, and feel its energy, the mediation parties gain an insight into the situation which may already have occurred to them on a subconscious level. This creates space and freedom to look at and deal with the situation differently, clearing the way for a solution to the conflict.
.
Mediation with the help of horses is a highly effective way of getting to the root of a problem, as horses reveal the situation and the attitudes of the parties in an impartial way. This often serves as confirmation to the people involved of what they ‘knew’ all along. Whilst most people find this an uncomfortable experience, it is also extremely effective.
.
Quality assurance/MfN
.
Further information about mediation, quality assurance, and regulation can be found on the Dutch mediation federation's website (www.mfnregister.nl). Every MfN-registered mediator, myself included, practises in accordance with MfN regulations. Some of the basic principles of mediation are voluntariness, privacy, and confidentiality.