Mediator Profile - Carolyn Graham

"Excellent result achieved for both parties."
Solicitor

Profile Summary

Carolyn Graham

An experienced civil and commercial mediator and former company Director, Carolyn applies skills learnt at the sharp end of doing business and managing people and combines commercial instincts with an intuitive approach and natural people skills.

Since 2006 Carolyn has worked solely as a mediator, facilitator and trainer in dispute resolution and conflict management. She works across the private, charitable and public sectors and has conducted multi-party mediations, team disputes, telephone mediation, time limited mediation and union/management facilitation.  In addition to her work as a commercial mediator Carolyn spent many years mediating community disputes in the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

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Areas of Expertise

Commercial contract
Workplace conflict
Employment disputes
Community/neighbour

Accreditation

CEDR
(Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution)
Hackney Community Mediation

Qualifications and Membership

CEDR panel member
Consensio mediator and trainer
ADR Chambers panel member
EDSL (Effective Dispute Solutions Limited) panel member
BMus (Hons) RHC, London University

 

Full Profile

Carolyn is a CEDR accredited and registered mediator who, since qualifying in 2002, has conducted over 90 mediations across the public, private, charitable and community sectors with a value range of £1,000 to £6 million. She sits on the mediation panels of several of the UK's leading mediation providers and has mediated alongside some of the most accomplished mediators practising today. She has experience of multi-party, team disputes, telephone mediation and time limited mediation.

Personal Style and Feedback

Carolyn is a calm and clear thinker, who can quickly help parties get to the heart of what’s important. Not afraid to challenge, she encourages parties to confront the key issues and supports them with a common sense approach that encourages realistic settlement on sensible and commercial terms.

"Has good instincts about what matters and what is going on between teams and parties." Client

"A very straightforward approach which never obscured the way ahead an left both parties able to decide on an acceptable resolution." Solicitor

"Built rapport very well." Solicitor

"She didn’t shy away from the really difficult issues and truly mediated allowing us to lead the discussions where we needed them to go." Client

"Asked pertinent questions…really helped move us forward." Solicitor

"I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing the mediation and support last week, I cannot express to you enough how it has helped me." Client

"She is very friendly but quite firm and is good at keeping everything right on track." Client

"Thank you for the way in which you presented the case and conducted it from the outset and which, I am sure, was of help to both lay clients in this case." Solicitor

"Mediator was extremely professional. Encouraged confronting issues and supported the discussion to ensure it was constructive." Client

"Excellent at letting us talk as we needed to, but also not letting us leave a subject without some kind of resolution." Client

"She was empathetic and by keeping the situation calm and diffusing the emotions, a situation that could have been very distressing for both parties was avoided." Solicitor

"Achieved the right balance of control and flexibility to make us feel that we were working within a structure and yet still had enough control ourselves to take it in the direction we were comfortable to go. She also had a very calming influence on everyone there." Client

"Very good result for all parties." Solicitor

"A very straight forward approach which never obscured the way ahead and left both parties able to decide on an acceptable resolution." Solicitor

"Carolyn was very fair and experienced.  She used excellent listening and reflecting skills and helped us consider the options from the perspective of the other party." Solicitor

"As a means of finding common goals and moving forward, I cannot praise this process highly enough. It is amazing, it’s not a case of winning or losing, it’s a case of moving forward – something that I was previously unable to do." Client

"The process was facilitated well, asking challenging questions that helped us explore the conflict in a different way." Client

"Did a great deal to put us at our ease throughout the process." Client

"Dealt with the authority problems really well." Solicitor

"I was impressed by the ability of the mediator to grasp and summarise the essence (and the undertones) of what people were expressing." Client

"I was impressed by the ability of the mediator to grasp and summarise the essence (and the undertones) of what people were expressing." Client

"Showed real regard for everyone in the room which truly helped have a balanced discussion." Client

"Showed real regard for everyone in the room which truly helped have a balanced discussion." Client

"The mediator had the ability to separate personal values from the issues under consideration to maintain neutrality. She was able to understand power imbalances." Client

"I was impressed by the way these discussions led to actual outcomes and set actions to be carried out and followed up at the next session…..Since the mediation there has been a marked improvement in communication between the management and workforce and their reps." Client

"I was impressed by the way these discussions led to actual outcomes and set actions to be carried out and followed up at the next session…..Since the mediation there has been a marked improvement in communication between the management and workforce and their reps." Client

Professional Background

Carolyn has over 25 years’ experience as a businesswomen in the Arts & Entertainment industry working in both the commercial and not for profit sectors including for fourteen years as Director at London's Southbank Centre. Areas of particular experience include budgeting and financial management; contract and co-production negotiation; organisational development and change management; union/employee negotiations; internal/external stakeholder liaison and all aspects of staff management (including appraisal, training, disciplinary, recruitment, mentoring) and team building.

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Banking/Corporate Finance/Business to business
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Charities
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Commercial/Business
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Community
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Education
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Housing Landlord/Tenants
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Individual to Business
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Media, Sports and Entertainment
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Partnership/Shareholder/Joint Venture
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Property
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Public Sector
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Other Dispute Resolution Experience

Neutral Chairing and Facilitation

Carolyn is an experienced neutral chair and facilitator who helps devise and run effective meetings. Her experience extends from small group meetings lasting a few hours to substantial sessions conducted over several days. She helps organisations clarify objectives, identify priorities and keep focussed on delivering effective outcomes. Carolyn brings strong people and process management skills, a mediator's impartiality and analytical clarity to any situation, making communication and ultimately decision making easier.

Experienced at handling complex group dynamics, Carolyn is highly skilled in facilitating meetings where feelings are running high and where strong differences in opinion need to be surfaced, safely, in order that discussions can move forward constructively and consensus achieved.

Organisational Away Days

Union Experience

Throughout her time at the Southbank Centre, Carolyn was involved in union discussions (at both local and regional level) and was part of the 4 person management team that, during a 5 day residential negotiation at Ashridge, agreed with the unions the redundancy programme and renegotiated terms and conditions for all staff consequent upon the RFH closure for redevelopment in 2006.

Since then Carolyn has trained numerous union staff in workplace mediation skills, has designed and  delivered two day mediation skills training courses for the union representatives of a national membership organization (healthcare) and has conducted both commercial and workplace mediations where union members have been present.

She also facilitates union/management negotiations – most recently between union representatives (Unite) and management of large scale manufacturing company following months of turbulence and strike action.

Training

As well as her mediation and neutral/facilitation work, Carolyn delivers a wide range of in-house and open access training, seminar and workshop activities in mediation, dispute resolution and conflict management.  Current training courses include: Workplace Mediation Skills (2 days); Mediation skills for the Occupational Health Professional (3 days); Managing Difficult Conversations (1 day);

Resolving Conflict with the Customer (1/5 or 1 day); Conflict Resolution skills (1 day); Partnering for success (1 day).

A passionate advocate for the greater use of mediation skills within the workplace, she is a regular speaker on the benefits of mediating conflict and is increasingly being invited to create bespoke mediation skills training programmes for specific sectors and professions.

Conference Speaking includes

Alternative Perspectives 

 Other

 Contributor to Law Society’s book on mediation ‘Making mediation work for you. A practical handbook’ as one of 2 workplace mediation experts providing answers to FAQs.

Assessor of delegates for Consensio’s OCN accredited Workplace Mediation Training. 

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Dispute Types - Case Summaries

Commercial Contract
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Employment and Workplace

Discrimination/Pre-post tribunal

Bullying, Harrassment, Disciplianry/Grievance,

Performance Management, Sickness absence

Relationship breakdown

Team conflict

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Wills/Probate/Family Trusts
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Skills and Interests

Carolyn has a working knowledge of French (‘A’ level and London Chamber of Commerce & Industry ‘Intermediate’ level). She is a CIPD qualified facilitator and is CMI trained in designing and delivering training.

Out of work interests include Arsenal, singing in the choir Eclectic Voices, and collecting jewellery.

 

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Dispute Types

Carolyn's full profile contains selected cases by dispute type:

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