Resolving Disputes, Preserving Relationships

Every conflict is different. But all conflicts involve relationships. The hallmark of EMCC’s mediation services is our focus on the people and the relationships involved in the disputes. EMCC Mediation Specialist Lau Li-Choo explains.


Helen and Wesley were siblings who co-owned their family restaurant.  Their aged mother, who had dementia and needed full time care, lived with Wesley’s family.

Due to the pandemic, their restaurant business ran into financial difficulties. To save money, Wesley wanted to discontinue the services of the night nurse who looked after their mother and rely on the live-in maid to do this. Helen disagreed as she felt their mother’s care should be a priority and Wesley had other financial resources to use to provide for their mother’s care.

Their disagreement about their mother’s care spilled over into their business relationship, and they found themselves quarrelling over their business arrangements too. They did not want to take each other to court, so they sought the help of a mediator.


Resolving disputes, preserving relationships

Every conflict is different. But all conflicts involve relationships. In all disputes, we see two common factors: people and pain.

The hallmark of EMCC’s mediation services is our focus on the people and the relationships involved in the disputes.

Mediation is a formal process to resolve disputes with the help of an impartial third-party mediator.  The mediator enables conflicting parties to discuss and negotiate a way forward by objectively helping the parties to hear each other out, brainstorm options, and decide on solutions to end their own conflict.

The process is dependent on both parties being willing to participate in it and then carry out any agreement that is negotiated between them.

Mediation is widely accepted as an alternative dispute resolution process and we recommend exploring it before bringing your dispute into the court system, which tends to be more adversarial in nature.


Our focus: People and relationships

The circumstances of each dispute are different. Each person and each relationship is unique. Our approach is to customise the right mediation for each client.

When we receive an enquiry, our mediation specialist will consult with each party to the conflict. During this consultation, she will assess the needs of each party and determine which of our mediators would be most suited to mediate the matter.

Our panel of highly experienced mediators are well known in their field of practice and additionally have counselling backgrounds or have received family mediation or couples counselling training.

At EMCC, we take into consideration the parties’ needs and specific requests to ensure the best possible outcome. No detail is too small for us. For instance, in one of our recent cases, to accommodate one party who was uncomfortable facing the other for a prolonged period, we replaced a 3-hour block of mediation with two 1.5-hour sessions. This gave both parties time to process what had been uncovered and discussed during the first half, as well as to prepare for the second session.

This flexibility and the priority we place on the parties’ specific needs and particular circumstances are distinctive qualities of our mediation services.

Another benefit to having mediation at EMCC is that we are an integrated mediation and counselling centre. This means that, if necessary, one can have the benefit of a counselling session before or after the mediation to help process emotions that may have arisen from the conflict.

We had a client come first to us for counselling services due to a communication breakdown with the other party, then use our mediation services to help them both move out of that impasse.

In situations where only one party is willing to come to the table to address a conflict, our mediation specialist can offer sessions to help the individual to learn specific communication skills to better manage their relationship with the other conflicting party.

If you are, or someone you know is, struggling with conflict in a relationship or unable to resolve the conflict on your own, we encourage you to consider our mediation services and to get our help to move past the conflict, and move forward.

We are conveniently located at the National Library Building. To learn more about EMCC’s mediation services, please click here

To request a mediation consult, please fill in the form here.

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