Sarah Turl, listening, mediator


Empowered Results is a small mediation practice located in the Halton region of Ontario.  We don’t let our size or location stop us from bringing our best to our clients; being small means that you’re important to us and we give you personalized attention, being in Halton means that we’re not too far from anywhere in southern Ontario and we can come to you!

Sarah Turl, the lead mediator has a background in sales, negotiation, and managing projects and conflicts between differing parties.  She is also an entertaining and accomplished speaker who has spoken at large conferences and run targeted workshops.  Adding on to her experience, Sarah has studied mediation and conflict resolution through the University of Waterloo Conrad Grebel School.  Sarah has completed the certificate program on Peace and Conflict Studies.   As a member of the ADRIO (Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario) Sarah has also taken courses in Civil Procedure for Non-Lawyers and Practical Ethics for Working Mediators.  Sarah’s thirst for knowledge and drive to understand different perspectives also leads her to continue learning via a variety of workshops and events.  Professional development and growth is a never ending pursuit, which benefits her clients.

Focused on providing practical and achievable results for clients, Sarah and Empowered Results Mediation are thrilled to serve the community to help manage conflicts and bring more peace to the people we work with.   

Mediation is an approach to solving disagreements that is facilitated by a neutral person, called the mediator, who guides the parties in a respectful, structured conversation towards a resolution/settlement. 

Mediation uses non-adversarial intervention to help people try to resolve a dispute.  Mediation is a practical, affordable, flexible and confidential process that can address disputes of all kinds.  It is a voluntary process that only takes place if both parties agree, with the focus on trying to reach an agreement that is tailored to the needs of all parties involved. 

The goal of mediation is to be forward-looking, to work out a solution that all parties can live with and trust.  It focuses on collaborative problem solving, and because the mediator has no authority to impose a decision, nothing will be decided unless all parties agree to the solution(s).  When people go into the process knowing that no results can be imposed on them, they are more open to discussion, less likely to hold onto an extreme position and the level of tension between the parties is greatly reduced. 

The mediator is a trained professional who has training in negotiation and conflict resolution, and has the sill of helping people who have a disagreement to listen to each other, to see different perspectives, and to work out solutions that are tailored to meet their needs.

While many people think that mediation is a very informal process, one where a friendly mediator chit chats with participants until they suddenly decide to drop their hostilities and work together to find a solution.  Mediation in fact in a multi-stage, structured process designed to get results for those involved while minimizing conflict and delay.  It is a less formal process than a legal trial or arbitration but there are distinct methods and processes used by mediators. 

There are some essential qualities to mediation that help the process work:

1 – Mediation is Voluntary.  You can agree to a mediation, you can also leave a mediation if you choose to.  Mediation works because both sides are WILLING to try to come to a resolution.

2 – Mediation is Collaborative.  Everyone participating in the mediation process is involved in creating the agreement.  During the mediation session everyone is motivated to solve the problems and reach the best possible agreements for all involved.  Since no one person can impose a decision on any other person, a collaborative approach results.

3 – Mediation is Informed.  Mediation encourages independent legal advice for participants so that all involved can create informed agreements.  It also allows for the sharing of information from mutually acceptable experts, to help inform any decisions participants make.  As each party is encouraged to give full disclosure of important facts, mediation allows participants to learn the needs and wants of the other side.  Mediation also allows for lawyers to be present at the mediation session if requested. 

4 – Mediation is Confidential – Your mediator will set out the expectations and rules of confidentiality at the beginning of your mediation.  Mediation discussions cannot be used in court, and the mediator generally will not be available to testify on anything that happened during your mediation.   When in private conversation with your mediator, what you say is also confidential and will not be disclosed to the other participants unless agreed upon by you. 

The role of the mediator is to help participants reach a solution for their problem, to arrive at an outcome that all involved are willing to accept.  The mediator has a responsibility to ensure that all agreements are reached voluntarily and in an informed manner, and not as the results of coercion or intimidation.  A mediator will remain neutral, and have an equal and balanced responsibility to assist each participant.  They will not favor the interests of any one person over another, and should not favour a particular result.  The mediator is responsible for the structure and process of the mediation, but the decisions are the responsibility of the participants. 

The mediator will use a variety of techniques to guide the process in a collaborative, constructive direction that will help the parties find their optimal solution.  A mediator manages interaction between the parties and facilitates open communication.  The mediator may ‘reality test’ possible solutions to ensure that both sides fully understand and can in fact implement solutions, all while avoiding giving an opinion on the solution.  A mediator will always seek to ensure that each party feels fully heard in the process to that everyone is comfortable with the agreed upon solution.

Before the mediation session, the mediator will let participants know what documents will be needed based on the conflict, and will determine if independent experts will be needed.  The mediator will ensure that all parties are educated about the mediation process, other conflict resolution options as well as any other important details pertaining to their upcoming mediation.  The mediator will advise participants to seek independent legal advice if appropriate before the agreement is finalized.

If the mediator feels for any reason that they cannot remain neutral during a mediation, the mediator will withdraw from the mediation.  

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