Dispute resolution requirements are perennial and include land disputes, intractable neighbour disagreements, community divisions on the relative merits and demerits of project activity, and any situation where dispute resolution is required before the parties can move forward.
Skilled facilitation is essential for running effective consultation sessions before there is a need for overt dispute resolution. As part of its pro-active dispute resolution function JTA provides facilitation and management of meetings of all kinds: public (town hall) meetings, focus groups, community liaison groups, etc. We deliver facilitation and mediation services as part of dispute resolution for diverse clients. Our facilitation experience includes working with groups of 3,000 plus for the MDBA in Victoria and South Australia, working with unsympathetic or hostile audiences in the infrastructure, resource development or new technology fields, These can be challenging and require an advanced knowledge of dispute resolution; JTA understands the dynamics involved and manages such dispute resolution situations with skill and sensitivity.
In the mediation field, we are credible and independent dispute resolution practitioners. Our approach is principled and straightforward, attentive, impartial and effective. In every dispute resolution case we aim to help the parties reach a mutually agreeable outcome. Examples of our work in this area include mediation amongst neighbours to a new state government building where no problems were anticipated because of the benign nature of the building but where post-construction issues surfaced to impact on quality of life issues for the households.
Our services as meeting and community interface facilitators are recognised across Australia and we have worked in all Australian States and Territories, in subject areas as diverse as licensing of tradesmen and a state-based pastoralist organisation divided over statutory changes to key legislation. As part of an issue or dispute resolution process we have facilitated groups of 3,000 plus attendees to groups of as few as four participants but where the results influenced billion dollar outcomes. We have learnt from experience that clients must understand that our skills and expertise need to be factored into facilitation exercises; the client’s information, knowledge and credibility is critical but so also are the hard won lessons JTA consultants have gained in the field. It is also important that there is mutual recognition that the provision of facilitators will require more than just a person standing at the front of the room, Logistics are important and this will include the selection of the venues, the layout of the venue, audio-visual equipment required, collation of the meeting summary and its subsequent distribution method.
Dispute resolution is the process of resolving disputes between parties.
Unless there is agreement on the tools and strategies to be used as part of dispute resolution (by facilitation) there is no point proceeding and JTA does not do so unless it is satisfied that professionalism, honesty and credibility will accompany the outcomes.
In addition to dispute resolution where many parties may be engaged we have also worked in dispute resolution where usually only two parties are involved: a financial services provider and a purchaser/consumer of its products or services. The outcome for the latter party is one that may affect them for decades (e.g. foreclosure on a mortgage) and where the power imbalance is heavily weighted in favour of the service provider. Both these factors serve to exacerbate the emotion and angst that is already present in the potential for dispute resolution when the service provider is more interested in the documentation, relevant legislation and appropriate natural justice.
Our dispute resolution staff are highly skilled, empathic, intuitive and intelligent, Clearly the different types of disputes, confrontations, mediation opportunities and choice of tools and techniques required mean that staff specialise in different processes but they always have internal JTA resources as back up and a close and honest relationship with the client.
Our nomination of specific consultants will also take into account the location of the facilitation I.e. if the audience is metropolitan, regional, rural or remote. In some cases technical content may be necessary but that is an unusual requirement as JTA will usually rely on the client to provide the technical background and information. Credibility and authority are esssential in the facilitator as the level of outrage and angst will often be at a level where maintaining order and a structured format are pre-requisites before resolution can properly commence.
PO Box 81, Hamilton Qld 4007 Australia
07 3268 6665