London Mediators Day 2019






A mediator’s best friends – re-framing and challenging


Having trained community mediators for 18 years and workplace mediators for 8 years, Irene Grindell knows that these essential parts of the mediator’s tool-kit can be difficult to master.


Re-framing and challenging techniques both need practice - and this workshop provides an opportunity to discuss and get to grips with both of them.


Some community mediators tend to feel that the direct and overt stance of challenging a party is a hurdle too far. But reframing can make the difference and can be the mediation tool that makes a party stop in their tracks and be willing to start looking at the conflict in a new way.


Irene will bring a few props to get the most out of the session - so please come along for tips and tricks, and be prepared to experience what it’s like to be challenged.



Irene Grindell


Irene Grindell has mediated hundreds of cases over the past 20 years. She is also an experienced and highly qualified mediation trainer, delivering Open College Network accredited training.


After her initial training with Tower Hamlets Mediation Service in 1999, she became its first director in 2005 and subsequently trained as a workplace mediator and trainer in 2011.


She established Irene Grindell Resolutions Consultancy (IGRC) in 2014, where she delivers conflict coaching,

mediation services and mediation training in the public and private sectors. She also runs the Mediators Peer Group and the Tower Hamlets Mediation Project



Tony Kearney


Tony Kearney was born and grew up in New Zealand where he qualified as a solicitor. He then traveled widely before settling in the UK where he practiced as a construction, employment and human rights lawyer for nearly 25 years.

He has over 35 years of experience in all aspects of dispute resolution and, following a move to Ireland in 2006, he has worked as a mediator, trainer, consultant, author and farmer.


His work focuses on building sustainable relationships and resolving conflict through mediation and restorative practice. He has run many courses and training events where he shares and promotes the benefits of mediation, not only in dealing with the areas of conflict that are presented by parties in dispute but in helping them to restore or improve inter-personal and working relationships.





Freedom and form in mediation - getting the balance right


Freedom and form in mediation - getting the balance right Mediation has some well-known advantages over adversarial methods of conflict resolution - it is informal, voluntary, confidential and flexible. So how can these advantages be exploited?


• Too much form (and formality) and the process becomes fixed and confining with a danger of locking the parties into the conflict.

• Too much freedom and it becomes loose and unfocused.


When the balance is right, the parties may be able to let go of their fight or flight responses and begin to explore their options safely to a future that offers something better and more positive than the past.


In this hands-on, practical, and interactive workshop, we will look at some simple but effective ways of balancing freedom and form, to give mediation the best chance of supporting and facilitating the parties’ aspirations.





Insight and clarity in mediation - distinguishing what is heard

from what is meant


The parties engaged in a dispute are usually interpreting the same experience differently. Understanding the structure of those interpretations can give mediators timely and powerful opportunities to facilitate dialogue and change – faster than working without them.


Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of the subjective interpretation of experience, and NLP techniques are used extensively in all areas where people interact with each other.


This workshop introduces mediators to relevant parts of NLP theory and identifies techniques that will help them to become demonstrably more effective in their mediation practice.



Trevor Horne


Trevor Horne is an international personal and business coach, NLP master practitioner, mediator, trainer, and writer.

Initially trained in civil and commercial mediation, he now practises community mediation in Devon.


He has trained mediators with Devon and Somerset Law Society, Devon Mediation Service, the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland and the College of Mediators in London. He has found that NLP really makes a difference in mediation and helps to create a holding space where parties can find their own solutions and achieve a sustainable outcome.


His co-written book, ‘Building Bridges – Embracing NLP for better mediation,’ was published in 2015.





Community Mediation – getting parties to say ‘Yes’


Imagine that a mediator has met a party for a one-to one meeting and can see how much a joint mediation meeting with the other party is going to help. Facilitating communication between the neighbours is going to be wonderful! Sure, there will be ups and downs and it’s going to be a challenge - but, hey, that’s what mediators are trained for.


And then the party says ‘No’ to the meeting with their neighbour.


At this workshop, we will consider what mediation can achieve, and what can prevent or inhibit parties from saying ‘Yes’ to a joint meeting. We will also examine and practice what a mediator can say to encourage parties to participate effectively.



Heather Loebl


Heather Loebl is an accredited mediator with 12 years’ experience of mediating community and workplace disputes. As a qualified trainer with Calm Mediation, she delivers a six-day accredited training courses to people wishing to become community and workplace mediators. She supports Calm’s mediators by designing and delivering workshops and providing one-to-one and group supervision for them throughout the year.


She also provides mediation training for a range of professional people, supports new mediators at Ealing Mediation Service, and sits on Dental Complaints Panels.


Jonathan Russell


Jonathan Russell is a chartered accountant and his practice operates from four offices across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.


Working as an expert witness in financial disputes made him think that there must be a more effective approach to conflict resolution. This led him to train and qualify as an arbitrator and as a mediator in 2002. He has since completed more than 100 commercial mediations and is a founding member of Hexagon Mediation.


He is often appointed on the joint recommendation of legal firms handling litigation, but he is also appointed by parties without legal representation, especially in smaller commercial disputes within or between businesses. He has a special interest in disputes involving family businesses where commercial issues and relationship issues can converge or collide.





Mediation and fake news


This interactive workshop will examine whether the fake news syndrome affects the mediation profession. Together, we will examine the truths and the nuances behind the following messages and mantras:


• Mediation is confidential

• Mediation is voluntary

• The Parties chose the mediator

• The Mediator is impartial and neutral

• The Mediator facilitates discussion and the Parties work towards a resolution

• The mediation process empowers the Parties

• Mediation doesn’t need a settlement agreement to be considered successful


Are some of these statements myths that are designed to please but which may sometimes mislead? Are some more true than others, and does that depend which mediation sector you are in? Let’s try to find out.





Family group conferences – empowering families, helping vulnerable people and avoiding legal intervention


This workshop explains the origins of family group conferencing - it’s growth worldwide, the policy and legislative framework behind it, and how this powerful method can be applied effectively not only for the care and protection of children, but to support and safeguard vulnerable people of any age. It will also demonstrate how family group conferencing can resolve difficult intra-family conflicts, sometimes to the point of the miraculous.


We will also discuss and examine the synergies between community mediation and the family group conference concept. This includes exploring how mediators and family group conference practitioners could work together by enabling trusted friends and family members to help resolve what may otherwise appear to be insurmountable family or community problems.



Ian Perolls


Ian Perolls is an accredited family group conference coordinator, and child protection advocate for Tower Hamlets and Harrow Family Group Conference Services.


He has worked as an education social worker, children’s social worker and Family Group Conference Coordinator in Medway, Kent and London for more than 30 years, He has also been a practice supervisor for social work students.


He has an abiding passion for family group conferencing, which he has been able to use to help bring about outstanding changes and help to families in difficulty where all else seems to fail.