When involved in conflict, emotions often run high. This makes it usually difficult to communicate constructively or to think rationally, let alone to negotiate in a reasonable way. In these cases, asking help from a neutral third party (the mediator) to facilitate the communication and negotiation process may be a wise choice. The mediator typically supports parties to find a common and sustainable solution that is acceptable for all conflict parties involved. In this process, the mediator acts independently and refrains from offering solutions or settlements to the parties. Instead, the mediator facilitates the dynamics by fostering reflection, active listening as well as open and constructive communication. During the mediation, legal, fiscal or other types of technical advice may be needed to come to a final settlement. In these cases, co-mediation, where mediator and technical experts collaborate, is an option. Mediation can be initiated at any moment as long as parties step voluntarily into this process. This implies that it may take place without any form of litigation, before or during a litigation. Furthermore, it is crucial that the mediator acts independently from the lawyers involved in the litigation.
We offer different mediation services in different fields of practice:
· Divorce and inheritance mediation: for conflicting (ex-)partners arranging child custody, distribution of property, etc., or for inheritance disputes between family members and in the context of family businesses.
· Commercial and business mediation: for conflicts between and within companies, with contractors or customers.
· Corporate mediation: for conflicts between legal entities and governments, shareholders, board members, stakeholders.
· Mediation with tax authorities: for conflicts with tax authorities about personal income tax, company income tax, VAT, gift and estate tax, etc.
· Labour and social mediation: for interpersonal, group or structural conflicts at work and in a variety of community settings.
For each case, the most suitable professional(s) with the right expertise will be selected to intervene.
Constructive communication is essential in any context of professional collaboration. This implies active, empathetic listening. MCC @Deloitte Legal offers several workshops (on human skills) where constructive communication skills are at the core. We offer content-specific workshops. They are tailor made, combine both practical and academic knowledge and are interactive with questionnaires, assessments, cases, and exercises. Some examples:
· Communication: How can we engage in constructive communication? How can I listen in an active way and give constructive feedback?
· Negotiation: How do I prepare for a negotiation? What skills are crucial to negotiate? How do I deal with a difficult counterpart?
· Mediation: How do I make sure that everyone’s needs and voices are heard? How to facilitate a negotiation process to come to mutually understandable agreements?
· Leadership: What is the meaning of leadership to me? What are my strengths and pitfalls as a leader? How to select the appropriate leadership style in a particular situation?
· Conflict management: How to deal with frustrations and irritations? What happens in a conflict on a psychological and neurological level? How to engage in constructive conflict management? How to analyse conflict? What conflict styles work best in certain situations? What is the role of culture in conflict management?
· Group dynamics: How to understand the development of a group, team or family over time? What are the implicit norms and values of the team? How to communicate best within a group? What roles are needed to work better together and to improve productivity?
· Change management and innovation: How to overcome resistance when implementing change? What is the role of learning in change initiatives? What is needed to build, support and drive intrinsic motivation and adaptation?
Furthermore, we offer focused workshops called “Legal Labs” to inform and educate teams and families on legal topics that are relevant for them. Topics include: from natural person to a holding company, governance vehicles such as foundation or “maatschap” (partnership), intergenerational transfer of assets through wills or donation, how to create a balanced system of transgenerational governance rules, understanding the difference between ownership and management of a company, understanding the company balance sheet, etc.
Coaching is a form of guidance aimed at empowering people on a professional or personal level in order to improve wellbeing and motivation as well as effectiveness. The objective is to help people improve their personal or professional skills through a structured and goal-oriented process.
Through personal coaching, the coachee discovers personal qualities, capacities and talents as well as hindrances in order to set some goals for development. Topics can refer to communication, self-awareness and -management, feelings of insecurity, how to deal with stressful situations or difficult people, etc.
Professional coaching can relate to discovering professional ambitions or seeing how personal interests and talents fit with certain jobs in order to unlock one’s potential. It may also cover e.g.: time management, leadership or impression management.
Often personal and professional coaching go hand in hand. We offer a set of questionnaires and interviews that may help people to get insight in their strengths, ambitions, insecurities or skills that need to be developed.
Family & Business Dynamics & Governance
Smart family firms invest in long-term understanding of each other and continuity. Hence, it is necessary to learn how to communicate constructively and listen actively, to make sure that every family member can have a role that suits him or her, be it in the context of the family or the business (or both).
Our Family & Business Dynamics & Governance offering (FBD) typically integrates parts of the MCC-offering. Different services (facilitation, coaching, workshops) are combined into a trajectory tailored to the family (members) and their needs. For more information on the FBD-offering, click here.
We use our three gear model to help the family grow in the context of their private sphere, the family business and their investment wealth. Our three phases model of family planning, with the last phase being the “implementation of an estate and tax planning”, typically starts with a “preparation phase” (Discovery Lab) to set the scene and help the family leveling the playing field. Often, we then facilitate the family’s trajectory of “negotiating the family deal”, resulting in a family charter or, better in our view, a family compass.
Board Room Dynamics & Governance
Boardroom dynamics are a central driver in producing strong organisational outcomes. This process involves the relationships among board members and between the board and senior management. When dysfunctional relationships are hindering good governance and impeding sound decision‑making, challenges can be enormous and made even more difficult when involving both family and non-family members. We offer support and guidance on how to improve these boardroom dynamics.