“Bob Gernon is an excellent mediator. He recently came into our organization to teach courses on management and leadership. He quickly learned that there was an internal conflict at a very senior level and that until this was corrected there was no point in training anyone. Bob was able to convince the people in question to negotiate, with his help, and together they came up with a new framework and organizational structure that permits the rest of us to do our job according to good communication and management principles. Bob Gernon is a great listener, he uses humour well to defuse tense situations, he empowers others to speak for themselves, he keeps the power balanced so everyone gets a chance to say their piece and he is skillful at getting people to take ownership and responsibility for their actions and commitments.”
Mediation and conflict management are normal parts of most change management projects. As a practitioner in this area (leadership and change) it became obvious, early in my career that I had better learn to handle conflict masterfully because I would be facing it on a regular basis.
I am a graduate of the York University Dispute Resolution Certificate Program, am certified with the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario) and the FMAO (Family Mediation Association of Ontario) and as part of my practice I regularly mediate community, business and family disputes. Conflict Management and Dealing With Difficult People are also two of my most popular training courses, especially with governments and police force personnel.
Mediation is useful in situations in which people are not able to resolve their conflicts alone. Often this is because those in conflict can’t see, hear, feel or understand the other person’s point of view. Mediation is always a voluntary process. Parties (sometimes several) to a mediation speak for themselves and are expected to actively participate in the creation of their own ‘solution’, but with the help of a skilled mediator/facilitator.
The most important skills and abilities of the mediator include their ability to remain neutral in a sometimes emotional and often hostile environment, the skill of listening empathetically to both sides without taking sides and in the midst of this the ability, experience, aptitude and skills to seek out and skillfully identify and articulate the ‘common ground’, upon which a lasting and effective relationship can be constructed.
Current Clients: As noted above, it is not often that people are happy to reveal their conflicts to the public. I can point out that through the ADR I regularly am asked to resolve disputes between various CCACs (Community Care Action Centers, Ontario Ministry of Hospitals & Long Term Care) and their clients.