10 years and counting!

December 2nd, 2021

I find it really hard to believe that it is 10 years since I took a leap of faith and left my secure position as a partner in a law firm to start my own business in the very uncertain and undeveloped world of workplace mediation and conflict resolution. A lot has changed in those 10 years, the business has grown and evolved and my own experience and expertise has developed and deepened. Here are some of the lessons learnt along the way, some reflections on the past decade and thoughts on what is to come.

No regrets

Most importantly, I have absolutely no regrets. Whilst it was a leap of faith and I sometimes marvel at the bravery, it was the right time for me to do something new and different. In addition, I love what I do as much today as I did on day one. Enabling people to resolve conflict in a positive way is a privilege, and it never ceases to amaze me what can happen when you provide a safe space for people to explore and discuss differences. It is wonderful to see when this results in improved relationships and learning.

I love the freedom and flexibility of self employment. There were of course one or two moments in the early days when I worried that instructions were not coming in as quickly as they might have done. A few years in, I began to relax, enjoy and make the most of quieter times. After all, part of the reason for the change was to get away from long hours and the pressure of increasingly challenging targets imposed by others.

Highlights over the past 10 years

Our mediation and conflict resolution work has continued to grow over the years. It has gone from one woman (and her dog) in 2010 to joining forces with a Bristol based mediation business in 2016. We have now combined into one business which rebranded in 2017 to Resolution at Work as this more accurately describes the breadth of what we do.

Our service offerings have developed and evolved over the years. Initially the focus was on mediation and associated training services. Quite quickly I was being asked to do workplace investigations and this is an area that has continued to grow. We now have six consultants who act as independent investigators and we have used our combined experience to develop a high quality service with peer review and peer support being a very valuable part of the service.

Our conflict resolution work has evolved to include specialist conflict coaching, facilitation, team disputes or conflicts and neutral assessments. We are accredited to use different conflict coaching models and now have five (soon to be seven) trained mediators and coaches working with us. We have had some great successes with our neutral assessment services and again it has been a privilege to work in collaboration with clients to improve working relationships. I am extremely proud that one such project won a national CIPD Engagement Award.

On a personal level, I was also extremely proud to achieve recognition for my contribution to people management at the CIPD Wales awards, to have been shortlisted as Workplace Mediator of the Year and achieved Fellowship of the Civil Mediation Council. And I am a published author too, who would have thought that would happen?

I am very proud to work with and grateful for the support of a wonderful team of people.. It is important to us all  that we share the same values and it is wonderful to be working with such a talented bunch and with colleagues who I can trust 100%. Importantly we also have a great ability to combine working hard with playing hard.

I would not change a thing!

So what’s in store for the future? 

Mediators have been saying for years that the time has come for informal dispute resolution to become the norm and be more widely used as an early intervention. It is certainly growing and there is much greater awareness of the value and benefits of informal resolution but there is still some way to go. We will be doing all we can to spread the word and improve conflict resolution skills and encourage clients to adopt a strategic approach to resolution. I would hope that there is no such thing as a grievance procedure 10 years from now!

The global pandemic has changed the way that we work for ever. We had to adapt very quickly and have now proved that we can provide our services remotely and without impacting the success rates and quality of service. Indeed the saving of travel time and expenses has been a benefit both to us and our clients. It is also more environmentally sustainable and has increased our geographical reach. So we will continue to provide services remotely in the vast majority of cases and continue to find new and different ways to engage with clients and colleagues.

Finally, thank you to all my colleagues, clients, supporters and family without whom this would not have been achievable or half so much fun. It has been a wonderful 10 years and I look forward to working with colleagues and clients to promote and enable positive conflict for many years to come.

For full details of who we are and what we do please do visit our website at www.resolution-at-work.co.uk where you can also sign up to our regular newsletter. Alternatively please do contact us by email at [email protected] or phone 08000 489235.

Here are a few pics over the years with a variety of hairstyles!

 

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2 Responses

  1. ruth marks says:

    Really great to read about the journey and the experiences. All very good to share especially following dreams and opportunities. Be super to meet next year. Its been a long time since we chatted.

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