Facilitation - About Facilitation?



Facilitation is an essential negotiating technique used to smooth over difficult situations when there is no disagreement prevailing, but when one may be predicted to occur.

An excellent example is the coal gas mining industry, which has the right, in Australia, to explore farming properties (which are privately owned) without beforehand, obtaining permission from the land owners.

Whilst mining prospectors are legally entitled to enter private properties, it makes obvious good sense to discuss the intent with the owner on a friendly basis before initiating the work.  For such planned events and for many other cases such as this, facilitation services provided by Mediation Australia can be employed to exercise the technique prior to prospecting is commenced and until it has been completed.

With Facilitation, mediation methodology is used to diffuse any disagreement before it may arise when the activity is known to bring about disharmony between miners and farmers.

In this example, as an alternative, if coal gas miners require negotiation largely in its own interests, Mediation Australia has Advocacy Services available which are more suited than facilitation in some circumstances.  Of course, with the unaligned Facilitation service, the weaker party can know that absolute fairness will prevail during discussions.

The fees for Facilitation are usually covered by the party with most significant vested interest in the project.




While there is not much difference at the time of commencement of facilitation, when there is no dispute; the parties can anticipate that a disagreement may occur ostensibly because of the character of the project.

Firstly, the Facilitator needs to understand and make a record of all possible subjects which may cause disagreement.  The design of the methodology provides a situation conducive to reasonable and cordial communication between the parties which will support and stimulate negotiation to result in agreement.

We have been examining  of Facilitation used in a business relationship, but naturally, Facilitation can be used to great effect in families as well. Facilitation is likely to be ideal in organising discussions when families merge from a marriage and where both parties have children who will commence living together.  One can anticipate a variety of problems which are likely to occur. Indeed, such problems are evident in families of the natural parents of all of the children so how many more can occur in merging families?  

Puberty presents potential problems and an opportunity for using Facilitation to also anticipate difficulties. Inviting discussion with say eleven, twelve and thirteen year old children about the varieties of arguments which one may reasonably assume will occur between parents and children, when they are older can be analysed on a theoretical basis.  That can provide a platform for calm and logical discussion and decision making in advance of such events finally occurring, such as alcohol use, dating and parties.

Is this a tricky situation for everyone? Yes, indeed it is a minefield, but therein lies the effective potential of Facilitation to minimise such difficult events.

Facilitation can be a wonderful device for creating and maintaining accord in families, large corporations, small businesses and even governments.


Mediation Australia - Brisbane
Incorporating “Alternative Dispute Resolutions”

Mediation Brisbane Office


1300 267 268


Ann Street, Brisbane Queensland 4000

  • When you call us initially with your enquiry, there is no charge. We are pleased to answer any of your questions.
  • Your questions will be happily answered by expert mediators.
  • You can then make an appointment to discuss your matter with us.

Appointments can be made at our nearest office to you.


Call  us 1300 267 268 or email us:

Mediation Australia Head Office
You are welcome to contact our Head Office in Adelaide if you have any questions or comments about our services.


Phone: 08 8379 2910 / 0409 837837

Postal Address:
Mediation Australia,
Level 2, 229 Greenhill Road Dulwich
South Australia 5065

Mediation Australia
Incorporating “Alternative Dispute Resolutions”
          1300 267 267

Consultations by appointment:
Diamond Offices - Lower ground floor 65-67 Burelli Street
Wollongong NSW