Employment disputes and labor law
The employer and the employee have a clear disagreement. For a variety of reasons, they are not ready to end the relation between them. Trade unions and representatives of the business world disagree on a number of primary and secondary conditions within the framework of the negotiations on a new collective labour agreement. The Works Council sees itself confronted with a rigidity of the relationship with the Executive Board of their own company; the Works Council would, however, prefer to remain in talks with the Board.
I recognize all of the above situations all too well from my previous professional activities. This is why I will soon be able to determine what is going on and which steps have to be made. To avoid mediation you can also call on my services to unilaterally assist a party and advise on a negotiation process.
Corporate governance is simply defined as “the way companies are directed and controlled”. In this context, mediation can become a management tool and thereby strive for conflict prevention rather than conflict resolution. And that is needed more often than you’d first suspect.
For example, when the naming of employee representatives to the management board is difficult due to the event that a two-thirds majority of employee votes needed to appoint such a member to the supervisory board is not met.
Conflict is a natural disagreement resulting from individuals or groups that differ in attitudes, beliefs, values or needs. It can also originate from past rivalries and personality differences.
Conflict should be viewed as a challenge and opportunity, rather than always negative, because conflict sometimes promotes communication, problem solving, and necessary change for the benefit of the group.
In fact, a conflict can be healthy when effectively managed. Healthy conflict can lead to: growth and innovation; new ways of thinking and new management options The goal is for all to “win” by having at least some of their needs met.
Shareholder agreements and disputes
Disputes between shareholders and/ or directors within a limited company require special skills to resolve. These disputes can be very damaging to the financial and trading well-being of the companies themselves. This is particularly so when the Board and shareholding is split evenly, thus often placing the company in a stalemate situation in which no one can make corporate decisions without the support of those with whom they are in dispute.
The interests of the company itself are often overlooked as people fight to protect their own personal interests. For most companies, resolving situation is more difficult because they failed to enter into a Shareholders Agreement. I assist directors and shareholders to resolve their disputes in a much faster and less costly fashion than by pursuing legal remedies through the courts and tribunals or simply arguing or, worse, not speaking to each other.
Family business matters
A business with family members adds another level of complexity to an already complicated system. Elements of family businesses that make them somewhat different from other businesses are also the elements at the core of classic family business disputes.
What can occur is that family members who are either not capable of executing the duties of a certain position they were given or are not interested in following the plan that was laid out for them as a member of their family. Another classic family business conflict is, of course, the issue of succession.
I am very much aware of the pros and cons of family businesses, and as a mediator I know that there are at least 3 possible causes of such conflicts, namely content issues, identity issues and process issues. And every situation needs to be addressed differently.
It is (almost) never in the interest of any stakeholder within businesses, organizations, or projects, to be publicly in a dispute. What could prevent an escalation are stakeholder agreements; a collection of agreed decisions between stakeholders. The main thing about mediation is that it aims to serve every stakeholder’s interest, unlike any conflict escalating procedure, such as a court-case. I help stakeholders with preventing conflicts and, when a conflict does occur, how to deal with it.