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  • Darren Rawlins

Breakfast with Rotary



I was delighted to be asked recently by Ellerslie Rotary Club to attend one of their weekly meetings as a guest speaker, to speak with them about mediation.


Whoever was taking notes did an absolutely sterling job at summarising what I shared with them, a mediator in the making!


The Rotary Club members were extremely friendly and welcoming, I was taken aback at their generosity in providing three local schools each with a $3,000.00 cheque to help them, the Principal's of each school were present and identified how these funds would have such a beneficial impact for their students.


The meeting was very enjoyable and entertaining, if anyone is invited by Rotary to speak at one of their meetings I thoroughly recommend accepting their invitation.


Here is what Rotary had to say about my talk.


Dealing to disputes


Darren Rawlins is a reformed lawyer, turned Dispute Mediator. His business is mediating disputes of all kinds - civil, commercial, family, property, employment and negligence.


Court proceedings are time-consuming, stressful and expensive, so private mediation or alternative dispute resolution seeks to get resolutions in a cost-effective and efficient way - that also satisfies the law.


Mediation is a consensual process between parties which often promotes creative solutions and maintains confidentiality.


There's a framework of understandings around negotiations and Darren tries to neutrally steer proceedings for resolutions. For example, in negotiation theory, the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or BATNA refers to the most advantageous alternative course of action a party can take if negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached. There's also the LIM guide: What you'd LIKE to get in an ideal situation, what you INTEND to negotiate and ultimately walk away with, and finally what you MUST achieve out of the deal struck.


Darren gave us some interesting examples of disputes he's handled as well as some guidelines for the behaviour expected of you if you end up in mediation: Don't expect everything that you want, don't be offensive, make calculated offers, brainstorm with the mediator and don't rush.


Nobody wants to be in dispute with others, but life has a habit of occasionally throwing up one. Useful to keep this as a strong option for having it resolved.

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