Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process designed to bring people together to find solutions to their differences. The process relies on the assistance of trained, neutral conflict specialists referred to as mediators. Mediators do not force participants into a specific settlement; instead, they facilitate the dialogue necessary for resolution and they draft a written agreement when the participants have reached a decision. The parties control the outcome.
CORA GSM oversees all mediations through the City of Philadelphia's Eviction Diversion Program: https://eviction-diversion.phila.gov/#/
Other issues that mediators can help with include, but are not limited to:
- Neighborhood Disputes - parking, noise, pets, property lines, common driveways, trash, overhanging trees
- Small Claims - debt repayment, consumer-repairperson, consumer-merchant, consumer-serviceperson, consumer-travel agency
- Housing - landlord-tenant, real estate, condominium issues, roommates
- Employment - workplace disputes
- Divorce - division of property/equitable distribution, spousal support, and alimony
- Child custody and child support
- Elder issues – health care matters, finances, living arrangements, powers of attorney, guardianship, end-of-life decisions
- Estates – estate administration, probate, trusts
- Multi-party disputes - issues involving groups such as neighborhoods, community groups, affinity or interest groups, and public-private issues where diverse interests have caused divisiveness in the group
In addition, CORA GSM provides Meeting Facilitation services.
Meeting facilitators are trained third-party neutrals who provide process leadership and process expertise to help groups accomplish their meeting goals harmoniously through dialogue rather than debate.
Prior to the meeting, the facilitator works with the group to:
- Assess needs
- Establish goals
- Determine who should be present at the meeting
- Create the meeting agenda
- Discuss the decision-making process to be used
- Determine how to evaluate the success of the meeting
After the meeting, the facilitator(s) will:
- Prepare a report (May be a resolution or plan, depending on circumstances)
- Debrief with the meeting organizers
- Participate in the meeting evaluation process, where appropriate
CORA GSM provides facilitators for organizational, informational, decision-making, problem-solving, planning and dispute resolution meetings, including:
- Board retreats
- Workplace retreats
- Planning meetings
- Public policy meetings
- Community meetings
CORA GSM also offers Conflict Coaching.
"Conflict resolution coaching" is a conflict assessment and planning process involving a neutral coach and a person experiencing conflict. The goals are to:
- Examine the person's views about conflict and how they deal with it;
- Prepare the person mentally and emotionally to approach the other person involved in the conflict; and
- Develop a plan for how to address the conflict situation and achieve the optimal outcome.
Conflict coaching is an option for people who request mediation but the responding party declines the invitation to mediate, and for people who want to resolve their conflict without attending a mediation session with the other disputant and a mediator.