Conflict with Compassion
Getting perspective on a conflict situation.
I am often consulted about business relationships gone sour - whether that is with a client, a service provider or a collaborator. By the time they come to ask my legal advice, the relationship is wrecked beyond repair and the people are stuck in situations of stress, anxiety, hurt feelings and financial panic. Rather than offering to represent you as you fight it out (which I don't enjoy or do well) I would like to offer you the opportunity to give peace a chance.
Sometimes, you just need to talk through an issue that has arisen, get clarity about your options and seek calming advice so you can make an informed decision. It can be very helpful in working out whether you really want to burn your bridges, and uncovering ways to build them stronger to save the relationship. We can cover an awful lot of ground in an hour, including identifying what issues are important, helping you understand the other person's point of view, discussing your options and creating a strategy for going forward. I send my invoice after the session, when I know you are completely satisfied with the service I have provided.
$440 AUD including GST for a 60 minute online call.
Here's how a Conflict with Compassion consultation can help:
Turn argument into agreement
When a disagreement arises, it is very easy to get caught up in a cycle of anger and blame. People become fixated on their positions, and everything seems black and white, right and wrong, win or lose. It doesn't need to be that way. In the Conflict with Compassion consultation, I will gently guide you to consider the other side of the story and understand the issues without taking them personally, holding space for all perspectives to be explored. When your emotions are calm, you are able to make better decisions for the highest good of all.
Save time, money, stress and your sanity
In my experience, taking a typical business dispute to court can easily cost more than $10K in legal costs alone, and even if you win, you don't get all of that back. Then there is the lost work hours, stress that affects your whole family, weeks - sometimes months or even years - of uncertainty. How much better would it be for you both to walk away happy, leaving you with the knowledge that you have truly walked your talk by acting with empathy as an empowered entrepreneur?
Meet everyone's needs
In a Conflict with Compassion consultation, we focus on identifying what is truly important to each of the people involved in the dispute. We can then get creative about generating options that everyone can live with, and reality testing the most viable solutions to make sure they will work before we begin negotiation. We can also consider strategies for back-up plans in case our first approach fails, so you have a range of potential solutions to work with, all of which are better than going to war!
Preserve the relationship
Whether the dispute is with a supplier, another business, a client or an employee, they are often someone you have spent time working with and gotten to know personally as well as professionally. Referrals are a major source of business in the online world and your reputation for best practice is a precious asset. Even if you won't be working together in future - and especially if you are - there are definite advantages to dealing with the dispute amicably rather than aggressively, to repair the hurt and mend the harm.
It is so easy to panic and feel threatened when a problem arises. The first step is to stay calm and consider your response. This is often easier said than done in the heat of the moment when emotions are running high.
Making sure you have a robust dispute resolution strategy can be a life saver in this situation, so if you are just browsing here, thinking about what you might need in the future, and you don't yet have a Contract that Cares for your important business relationships, you might want to make that a priority.
Online mediation of business disputes
Mediation is almost always faster, cheaper and less stressful than handling a dispute through legal channels.
While the first step is always negotiation in good faith to try and resolve a problem on your own, sometimes that doesn't work, particularly if emotions are running high.
Instead of getting locked into a downward spiral of aggressive and/or defensive reactivity, what if you took a proactive approach at the first signs of a potential problem? Imagine the two of you, getting on zoom with a neutral third party who is trained in helping people say what needs to be said, to clear the air, increase mutual understanding, explore what each of you really wants to walk away with and brainstorm ways in which you can both get what you want in a win/win, future-focused solution.
As an online business, it is very common for the people we deal with to be in other states or even other countries. That can severely limit our options and dramatically increase the costs of finding a resolution when a dispute arises. Too often, we are left feeling that there is nothing we can do about a painful situation, so we just let it go, regardless of how bad that makes us feel, or how unfair the situation is. With online mediation, we make use of the same technology that we use to run our businesses. Zoom online video conferencing is ideal for mediation as it allows for a face to face meeting between people who are physically distant from each other.
That is what mediation is all about. So much less stress, expense and heartache than the alternative of going to war with each other.
If you would like to enquire about mediation, let's start with a free initial consultation.
My qualifications as a mediator
I specialised in Alternative Dispute Resolution for my Master of Laws, writing my thesis on the Potential for Online Dispute Resolution in Australia. I have a Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution, and have certifications in Workplace mediation, Trauma Informed mediation and have trained as a Child Consultant. As research assistant to Marilyn Scott, the head of the Dispute Resolution program at UTS, I spent many years investigating the principles and practice of collaborative law. I have assisted in the peaceful resolution of many commercial disputes between small businesses, sole traders, online entrepreneurs and their clients.
I came to Michelle for advice about an awkward client I was dealing with. Michelle helped me completely reframe the urgency and difficulty of the problem. She focuses on helping everyone get a good outcome and can lift you out of any combative situations into a peaceful resolution or graceful way to move forward.
I highly recommend Michelle’s legal services. Michelle was so easy to talk to and she understood what I needed and how to go about helping me. She took all the stress away from dealing with an unpleasant situation and I am so grateful for that and our outcome. I will definitely be using her services in the future.
My mind was going to the worst-case scenario! Michelle gave excellent legal advice along with emotional support and a calm reassurance of all possible outcomes. I felt in safe hands and like she had my best interests at heart professionally and personally. She made everything seem less daunting so I could feel confident again.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
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