Description of Services

Ponderosa MCR offers a variety of services to help resolve the conflicts in your life and in the lives of the people and organizations you care about.

Mediation

Mediation is the process of reaching an agreement with the help of a neutral third to person who facilitates conversation and negotiation.

As a mediator, I facilitate conversation between opposing individuals and help them reach their own agreement to resolve their dispute. I use several methods depending on the situation, all intended to get a fair and sustainable agreement. Where possible, I use a transformative process that seeks to resolve the presenting issues and restore relationships between the people involved.

Many people find mediation to be a satisfying experience because they have more choices and can often reach an agreement that would not have been possible by other means. In most cases, the two sides still have the option of going to court if they are not successfully mediating the conflict.

In conducting mediations, we comply with Uniform Mediation Act standards. If the people involved agree, I use the Institute for Christian Conciliation Rules of Procedure.

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Other Conflict Resolution Services

The facilitated discussion provides an alternative for resolving disputes involving individuals with different views. My role in this process is to make sure each person is heard, facilitate an open discussion, and help to create a fair, sustainable agreement that best meets everyone's needs. This technique can be particularly effective in assisting organizations in resolving disputes, making decisions, and planning for the future.

Christian mediation and conflict resolution incorporate distinctly Christian values into resolving the dispute and bringing personal reconciliation between those involved. In many respects, these techniques are similar to any other mediation process, and the mediator stays strictly neutral regarding the dispute while encouraging personal reconciliation as the process moves forward. My experience is that when personal reconciliation happens, the resolution of the substantive issues is much easier. I use the Institute of Christian Conciliation Rules of Procedure for conducting Christian mediation.

Conflict coaching is available when one or more individuals do not want to use a formal process like mediation. In these cases, I can work with just one of the people involved to reduce the level of conflict, work toward a resolution, and, where appropriate, help the other person see the advantage of formal mediation. I have helped many people achieve a peaceful and personally satisfying conflict resolution even when the other side does not want to participate in mediation or other formal processes.

Types of Disputes

Personal Disputes

Personal disputes may involve various issues, from legal settlements to restoring broken relationships. Anything that causes a conflict is appropriate to bring to mediation or other conflict resolution process to seek a mutually satisfactory resolution.

Business Disputes

Business disputes are a special type of conflict in which financial considerations are critical. There is often disagreement over management and priorities, which can lead to the success or failure of the business. Mediation or facilitated meetings can address conflicts and resolve disputes within a financial context. My background in economics and strategic planning is useful in finding creative ways of addressing the interests of everyone involved.

Legal Disputes

Legal disputes involve legal issues that may end up in court if not resolved. Some may already have been the subject of court filings. These often include personal disputes involving property or injury claims. Opponents will have better control over the outcomes if they are willing to enter mediation. The judge's decisions will be final if the dispute goes to court. By mediation, opponents can design their own solutions and better control the outcome. In disputes involving legal matters, the involvement of attorneys is optional, and I find they are usually helpful in resolving disputes out of court.

Non-Profit Organizations

The people involved in non-profits are passionate about what they do. As a result, strong feelings and opinions can lead to serious disagreements among board members and staff. The key to a successful non-profit is not to avoid all conflicts but to have a healthy process for resolving them. We offer a number of services for these organizations:

Mediation may be an appropriate way of resolving disputes and obtaining an agreement on how to proceed.

Facilitated discussions may provide a better alternative for resolving conflicts with multiple sides or for disputes involving questions of mission and direction.

Leadership development is working with leaders to make the organization more effective by improving communication and decision-making. Developing positive board and key staff relationships can help prevent future conflicts.

Strategic Planning: After initial conflicts have been resolved, it is sometimes important for an organization to clarify its goals, direction, and decision-making processes. I have many years of experience in strategic planning that can assist your organization in becoming more effective.

Church Conflicts

Church conflicts arise from various issues, including leadership, worship style, and ministry priorities. Because people feel passionate about these things, disagreements may quickly escalate and become difficult for the congregation to address without outside help. A conflict resolution process for a church must address the specific conflict and set the congregation on a path to healing. If unaddressed, disputes may lead to bitterness and disunity. The church may split, or a large number of people may leave the congregation.
We follow the Peacemaker Ministries model of church reconciliation. We work with leadership, listen to members' concerns, identify issues, provide training, and mediate disagreements. The successful resolution of church conflict is a powerful demonstration of the Gospel to the congregation and the surrounding community.

Family Conflicts

Family conflicts often involve relatives and in-laws with various interests and concerns. Conflicts usually include broken relationships based on past injuries and misunderstandings. Resolution of these conflicts may involve coaching, mediation, or family meetings. When facilitating family meetings, we help people listen to each other, create agreements, and restore relationships.

Decision Making and Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is the art of decision-making in an organization. We make the best decisions when we agree on purpose and goals and a common understanding of our organization's strengths, weaknesses, and the influence of external factors beyond the organization's control. Good strategic planning does not have to be expensive to build a stronger organization that can make decisions about the future with more confidence and less conflict.

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