This book provides valuable advice for sound conflict diagsis and a professional mediation proposal, along with many practical hints and tips based on years of experience and research. Mediation in the right situations can resolve conflicts effectively. The facilitating role played by referrers is crucial. The art of referral deserves to be on the skills palette of professionals who deal with other people's conflicts in their everyday work, whether they are managers, lawyers, judges, or HR staff. They should all be able to identify opportunities for an effective mediation proposal. Research has shown that a decision to proceed to mediation is best taken in consultation with the parties to the conflict. The consultation should be preceded by a thorough diagsis of the conflict, an investigation of the parties' interests in finding a solution by mutual agreement, and a review of the available options.
As Director of the Netherlands Court-Annexed Mediation Agency, Machteld Pel has been involved in referring literally thousands of cases to mediation. She was instrumental in setting up and supervising the court-annexed mediation system in the Netherlands, and is currently supervising its consolidation nationwide. In addition to designing numerous Effective Dispute Resolution (EDR) courses for judges and lawyers, she has been directly involved in launching and assessing the performance of mediation services in the judiciary and in other fields, first in the Netherlands, and then in various other European countries. She teaches judicial settlement skills and conflict diagnosis at the Netherlands Training and Study Centre for the Judiciary (SSR), and has acted as an EDR expert in several European countries. She has been an appellate court judge and vice-president (commercial and family cases) for twenty years. She was previously a district court judge for eight years, and has, for the past twenty years, lectured on various subjects related to law and judiciary skills at universities and the SSR. Machteld Pel is an arbitrator, qualified mediator and mediation trainer. She mediates contract, commercial, employment, education, medical and family matters. She is a writer in the field, as well as a frequent speaker on EDR issues.