“I was delighted to get to do this course. having researched courses Consensus Mediation- Mary had been recommended to me.   A great recommendation !!,  the course content, structure, pace, class participation and engagement was exactly what I had hoped for.
The Paula I was on day one of the course what not the Paula at the end, the facilitation and transfer of knowledge that was imparted to us by Mary, along with the role plays really shifted my confidence over the course, enabling me to complete my assessment with confidence.
Paula Cullen, HR Manager, B. Braun Medical Limited

“Mary was a fantastic trainer with a huge knowledge and a wealth of hands on experience. Role plays were a core part of the training and I got individual coaching and mentoring following each role play. I would highly recommend this course, I gained valuable skills that I can use in both my professional and personal life.”

Lynn Mac Manus, Regional HR Manager, Musgrave Operating Partners Ireland

“I completed the Certified Level Mediation Programme recently with Consensus Mediation Training, it truly was a fantastic experience.  Mary’s willingness to shared her knowledge and experience with the course participants was inspiring . Mary dedicated a vast amount of time to the practical application of the learnings in role plays, this really helped to hone our skills.  I learned so much about myself on this course, how I react to conflict, the value of active listening and that my opinions and thought are not relevant in my role as Mediator.  This course has enriched both my professional and personal life and I would highly recommend it.”

Liz Carter, Group Employee Relations Manager Glen Dimplex

“Mary worked with the Senior management team to explain the dynamics of conflict. Through individual online assessments and classroom training, she enabled each person to find out more about their own triggers and how same could have an impact in their communication style.
One year later the team still remember the key points of the training that Mary delivered so professionally and succinctly.”

Grainne O’Meara – HR Manager – Aptar Group Ireland

“In managing conflict at work, we need a full quiver of approaches, tools and interventions. This course teaches you a really empowering way of assisting people by resourcing them to fully explore situations for themselves and consider the solutions that may work.”

Paul Reidy, Human Resources Manager, Bon Secours Group

“Mary has an easy facilitative style, engaged participants while providing all required knowledge. Excellent use of role play along with practical application of skills and knowledge, really good facilitation skills from Mary.”

David Muldoon, Head of Accreditation & Standards, National Learning Network

“Mary’s style of delivery was intelligent, professional with a lovely dash of humour, I would recommend this course wholeheartedly. All was excellent, informative and thoroughly enjoyable.”

Ruth FitzGerald, Mindspark – Personal & Professional Development

“The whole situation was dealt with in a professional way and I would feel very confident in recommending this mediator. The mediator has a good ability to remain neutral and to have a great understanding that people are very much individuals.”

Stephen Conway, Manager, Prominent Fluids, Sligo

“The patience displayed and encouragement continually offered throughout was most welcome as was clearly the course content so well delivered. It will be of huge value to me in my legal work. Many thanks again-a really informative, beneficial and interesting 6 days.”

Gerry Lambe, Solicitor

“After 35 years, I thought I’d got all the courses; this one has had a huge impact on me. As a Senior Business Partner in HR after being a line manager for 35 years, my inherited tendency was to “solutionise”. This course with Mary Rafferty showed us how to get to get to heart of problems by using the mediation process. Others have noticed and so have I – subtle but necessary changes. I would recommend this programme to any manager – in the line or not. It will arm you with tools where staff will see your targets as theirs and it will extend the range of your success.”

Ray Aherne, Senior Business Partner, Human Resources ESB Networks

“Mary delivered Mediation Skills for manager training to Leitrim CEB clients on a number of occasions with very positive results, the feedback from participants was great and I always found Mary very professional in all dealings.”

Nicola McManus, Leitrim County Enterprise Board

“Mary worked as an associate with Carecall and in that time led many complex projects, often dealing with organisational conflict at a senior level. She has successfully resolved many difficult interpersonal situations, found compromise and restored harmony in fractured teams. Her experience in training HR and line managers to recognise early warning signs, understand legislation, and duty of care and where necessary provide one to one coaching support for senior managers wary of dealing with conflict has underpinned many preventative strategies.”

Katrina Hinfey, Director of Carecall

“Mary Rafferty worked with the whole staff of the school on the subject of conflict resolution over a number of sessions. It was found to be extremely beneficial by all staff members. The school staff was delighted with the programme. Mary was a marvellous and capable facilitator. She led and guided discussions that were interesting and enjoyable. The content was delivered clearly and concisely. I would highly recommend this worthwhile course to others.”

Brid Cahill, School Principal

“The challenges that we face daily as educational leaders are many and varied, this prompted the Principal of the Junior school to address the Board to look for coaching. The benefits of these sessions have been crucial in my response to the Covid-19 pandemic as there has been and will continue to be challenges and difficult decisions faced by leaders within schools amongst staff, parents and pupils in dealing with school resuming. I would wholeheartedly recommend these sessions as it clearly makes any leader reflect on their ideology of why they are in their role and makes you base many decisions on your moral view of education and who it should ultimately benefit.”

School Principal

“Mary developed and delivered a bespoke training programme aimed at senior school leaders and middle leadership staff to support the implementation of Circular Letter 03/18. School leaders at both senior and middle management levels gained understanding of cultural change as outlined in the Circular which provided a platform for embedding good leadership and management practices in LWETB schools.”

Liz Lavery, Director of Schools, Youth and Music, LWETB

“We chose Mary to deliver a 3 day train the trainers programme for 14 of our staff in how to manage difficult conversations with staff. From the outset Mary was enthused and engaged and developed a tailored programme that reflected our sectors’ terminology and our Services’ ethos.
During the intensive 3 days the standard of content and presentation far exceeded our already high expectations and Mary managed to make what were quite intensive and long days to pass both quickly and enjoyable. Most importantly, Mary was able to draw on a store of personal experience in dealing with difficult conversations which enriched the experience immeasurably and will enable participants to impart these difficult conversation skills to managers throughout our Services.
To sum up, I would have no hesitation in recommending Mary Rafferty based on our experiences outlined above.”

Brian Leahy, National Head of Human Resources, Brothers of Charity Services Ireland

“Mary’s programme on ‘Difficult Conversations’ was excellently delivered and challenged the participants to address the real issues for them. Mary is a true professional and skilled coach in this area.”

John Hennessey, Head of HR, Rabobank

“The entire programme was very practical and conducted in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere. If you wish to enhance your skills as a leader, particularly in helping people to understand each other and work together, then this is certainly an excellent programme to undertake.”

Br. Martin Kenneally, Congregation Leader, Presentation Brothers

“I found the course really beneficial in framing learning conversations and it has allowed me to act on situations within the workplace where previously I may have decided to put on the long finger. The course has allowed me also to present change situations to colleagues in a positive light so we can all reap the rewards. I loved the blended approach also and thought it had the correct balance between online learning and the facilitator-led webinars.”

Charles Gorney, Further Education and Training Services Manager, Donegal Education and Training Board

“I would recommend this training for those in any kind of management of other people because it makes life easier for everyone, helps us all achieve more, is purposeful and kind to everyone and allows for all points of view to be explored whilst achieving the ultimate goal in a non confrontational yet effective and refreshing way.”

Regina Butler, School Principal & Performance Coach

“Mary’s POISE NOW model is a practical, logical framework which has helped me prepare mentally and emotionally for challenging conversations. I have used this model for myself and as a coach, I have shared the ideas with my coachees. I love Mary’s teaching style – she is steady, non-judgemental and very encouraging – just what you need to help you achieve a win-win with your ‘difficult’ conversations and with your learning experience. I recommend this training – for personal or professional use!”

Rita Sharkey, Corporate Trainer, Coach & Facilitator, Reflection Training Ltd

“Excellent training, one of the best in a long time for me. It was so practical and great opportunity to work through the POISE NOW- 8 steps for Winning Conversations.”

Elaine O’Doherty, Training Co-Ordinator/Facilitator HR Leadership, Education & Development, HSE

“I found the Conflict Management Coaching Course an extremely enjoyable, worthwhile 4 days. I developed skills that can be used in the workplace and life. Mary was extremely credible and I felt could learn nuggets from every conversation with her.”

Janet Doherty, Human Resources Manager, HSE

“Mary’s programme is focussed and effective. It gave me a framework for preparing for difficult conversations, and that is always helpful. The programme has a solid theoretical base which provides helpful principles for understanding human behaviour. It was six hours well invested, no problem recommending it to others.”

Paul O’Raw, Community Facilitator & Consultant

“I enjoyed this course thoroughly. I thought I had learned a lot about effective communication before now, but this course really helped in dealing with planning conversations, being mindful of the impact of beliefs, values and memories, all the while sticking to key objectives.The take-home course materials are excellent too. I would recommend this course to anyone regardless of their role, whether they are working or not, as it can be applied in all human relationships. Many thanks.”

Julianne Moriarty, Coach and Business owner

“Mary’s teaching methods are both clear and insightful. As a first time for me taking a course on Zoom I found it to be a great experience and the interaction online was far easier and more fluid than I had imagined it would be.
The content of the course was varied and interesting, and provided some very useful tools, particularly the POISE NOW method, for preparing and conducting Difficult Conversations in day to day situations. To have ones eyes opened to the differing sides to these types of conversations was extremely beneficial and the practice sessions were very useful.
I would not hesitate to recommend this course to people in business environments, and also for people for use in personal life. To have an understanding of different sides or difficult conversations, and means of discussing whilst remaining empathetic and open to the other person is invaluable.”

Amanda Duffy, HR Consultant

“What was best was that there was a very clear, systematic and memorable path that can be used as a tool for so many situations. It focuses your mind on getting the most out of the conversation.
I would recommend this training to any manager, supervisor, trainer or HR professional looking for simple but effective tool to deal with conflict or difficult conversations with their team members.”

Gayle Donnelly, Human Resources Advisor, Commissioners of Irish Lights

“The scenarios were very realistic and ones that related directly to my role.
The content was clear and kept your attention for the entire duration. It was a small group so felt much more personal than some other courses I have been on, you get more attention from Mary than other course leaders.
I would recommend this course to all mangers and leaders, no matter what experience they have. I promise you will find it useful and use the skills you learn.”

Dean Roberts, Energia Sales Support Supervisor

“I attended the Mediation Training and my primary motivation was to improve my mediation and dispute resolution capabilities in work. I found the course to be extremely helpful in developing these skills and have already used them to good effect in both work and non-work environments.
What I really liked about the course was the use of role play to ensure that learning was ingrained.
Mary’s considered style and thoughtful questions really made me think about how I approached problem solving. I have become much more effective at delegating and helping parties to come up with their own solutions to problems rather than always believing that I needed to do this.
I would strongly recommend this course, and Mary as teacher, to anyone wishing to develop problem solving and mediation skills that will help them in their work and personal life.”

Tony Bridgeman, Programme Manager, Irish Water

“One of the main reasons I sought out training in mediation was a desire to be more focused on seeking solutions rather than solely on identifying problems and barriers. I knew from my work in family group conferencing that mediation was a powerful concept and I wanted to learn more about how to apply it in my work.
The main benefits from the mediation training so far are to do with how I listen to others. I now take the time to listen more closely and to understand what may be behind what someone is saying. It has given me a new confidence in addressing challenging scenarios.
One of the best things about the course was the variety in role playing each day and how we were able to move from one scenario to another as we honed our skills and grew our self awareness. This was done in a supportive learning environment that you created.
I would recommend this training to anyone seeking to develop effective dispute resolution skills. These skills are equally useful in family or work environments.”

Paul Tierney, Supervising Social Worker

“The mediation training was very educational and it was also a very enjoyable experience. Mary is very professional in her approach and the venue, delivery of the training and the materials provided are excellent. Mary provides brilliant support and encouragement throughout the training and there is also a lovely mix of humour. Some of the learning throughout the training involves learning about the process of mediation, styles of managing conflict and it provides a lens to view conflict in a very different light. There are a significant amount role plays which provides an excellent opportunity to practice the skills, enhance learning and an opportunity to learn from others on the training. This training equips you with valuable life skills and I would definitely recommend it.”

Eileen Nevin, Social Worker

“I took part in the course to train as a mediator so I could add this as a service I could provide to clients.
However it served as much more than that. It helped me understand conflict and people’s reactions. I found the iceberg particularly enlightening. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, and forced me to take part in role play, something I have always shied away from.
The course is intense but is worth it. It has thought me how to handle conflict, and difficult situations better.”

Natalie Kelly

“Mary clearly has a wealth of knowledge in the area of mediation and is a natural and engaging teacher. I truly feel I have walked away from this course with a new skill that can not only be applied to mediation, but can also be applied to a variety of other settings, especially in relation to how I might manage professional conflict going forward.”

Claire O’Connor, Guardian ad Litem

“I would highly recommend this training course provided by Consensus Mediation. It was structured extremely well and was engaging from the beginning to the end. Coming into the course, my background and experience was in the area of adversarial disputes and procedures. The mediation programme taught me a whole range of new skills in a process (i.e. mediation) that is markedly different from the adversarial system that I am used to. such as facilitating the parties to come to amicably agreeable solutions, engaging with parties in a facilitative manner, asking effective and appropriate questions and exploring issues in a targeted and appropriate way.
One of the most prominent skills that I learned was the ability to refrain from imposing my own beliefs or judgment on a particular matter, but rather act in an entirely objective and facilitative way. It was particularly interesting how engaging the classes were with all of the members of the class practicing and learning together and each learning from one another’s mistakes as we became more familiar with the process of mediation, and the do’s and don’t’s.”

Edward Murray, Barrister at Law & Farmleigh Fellowship Scholar

The benefits I received from training as a Mediator with Consensus Mediation were/are that I have learned how to listen more closely to what people are saying.  I have learned not to always try to provide solutions for individuals when they are telling their story.  It has reaffirmed my faith in audi alteram partem – hear the other side.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this training,  I would further say that I would recommend this training to individuals in certain roles e,g, HR (even if they did not intend to practice as a Mediator). The extensive use of role plays allows the student to gain some insight into the process of mediation and the different viewpoints which may present.  In reflecting on my training, I now realise how much I learned about myself and how I interact with other people”

Karl King, Barrister  

“As I began the training I found and learnt more about the key underpinning principles as weeks went by, I developed a keen interest in the mechanics of it.
In the infancy of the training I found that I was asking questions for the sake of asking questions but as time went by I learnt to ask more purposeful questions with the intention of eliciting specific information.
From the training I feel I have broadened my skillset by acquiring an array of new skills which will no doubt serve me well in the future.
I really enjoyed the collaborative element of the course most enjoyable. As each of the students on the course were expected to participate in role plays, I found this provided a very cohesive learning environment.
I would strongly recommend this course to any one as the take-away skills and knowledge are priceless.”

Jack Heathwood, Legal executive

“I highly recommend Mary Rafferty to any individual or organisation that is looking to develop effective practical communication skills. Mary is an experienced and highly competent communicator who shared a wealth of knowledge and tools with us around the whole area of communication. I gained new skills and tools that I used immediately in everyday situations as well as mediation. Mary’s course is highly participative and you will get plenty of opportunity to try out the tools and practice the skills of mediation which means you can apply them immediately. The icing on the cake was to gain a Certificate in Mediation Skills which is accredited by the Mediators Institute of Ireland.”

Mary Gilmartin, Lecturer, Institute of Technology, Sligo

“This course and the practical skills and knowledge gained has added greatly to my role.
Addressing staffing issues, dealing with conflict situations and consulting and negotiating with trade union representatives are key aspects of my role and this course has proven invaluable in supporting and developing my knowledge and skills in this area.
Mary packed an incredible amount of learning into this short course and the course material and additional reading has added greatly to my understanding and appreciation of how to constructively approach conflict situations and support effective communications. Mary is an excellent facilitator and the group discussions and role plays provided us with the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills learnt in supporting individuals and groups through difficult situations.”

Christine Mc Grath, Head of Human Resources, Kilkenny and Carlow ETB

“The Certified Mediation course surpassed my expectations. It was expertly delivered by Mary who had the ability to share her knowledge and experience in an informative, relaxed and humorous way. She offered great encouragement during the course, showing patience and understanding throughout. The role play, along with the analysis, was both challenging and enjoyable and a great way to practice and learn. The skills and understanding gained around conflict management have relevance in many aspects of life. This course has greatly impacted on me and I have gained valuable skills for both my personal and professional life which will remain with me. I would not hesitate to recommend this course.”

Amanda Duffy, HR Consultant

“When starting the course I was concerned that I would be unable to resist “jumping in” or “trying to direct” as this is what is expected in my professional life. However, with time, it became natural to actively listen to what was being said and began to recognise the person’s “interest” behind their stated position.
The small number in the class facilitated engagement and learning – no question was dismissed or considered unimportant. The course was intense, but the support given by Mary meant that while the bar was set high, it was always possible to succeed in the task set.
Since the course ended, I find that I am listening better in all situations and am conscious that people can find their best solutions and work out problems and I have been slower to offer solutions giving people every opportunity to explore their own ideas in full.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this training, and particularly our Tutor, Mary Rafferty, to anyone who is considering training to be a Mediator, it is a great launching-pad!”

Jane Boushell, SIPTU Sector Organiser and Mediator

“From day one, the course builds knowledge of a process that helps to get beyond the point where both parties are dug in to a position, teaches you how to uncover the issues and concerns of both parties, and gives you the tools to help both parties to get to a point where they can find common ground and reach an agreement that is acceptable to them both. That is the process of mediation and it is very powerful.
The course had great content and once we covered an element of the process, it was reinforced using role plays that were as close to reality as you can get without being in an actual situation. Mary is an excellent trainer who was very patient and encouraging and kept things moving along at just the right pace. I learned a lot of things that I will use, not just in mediation, but in everyday life and I would highly recommend both the course and the trainer Mary Rafferty.”

Pat Smyth, Transformation Program Manager, eir

“I am happy to recommend Mary Rafferty’s course in Mediation to any school principal or anyone in a management /H.R. Role. I was genuinely very satisfied with the course content, structure and outcome.
I found it to be relevant and practical to my day to day working.The skills I gained have enabled me to resolve difficult situations and maintain relationships. I feel more confident in approaching ‘difficult conversations’ in the workplace having completed the mediation course.”

Regina Doheny, School Principal (Primary)

“I believe every Manager should do a course like this. Mary showed expert knowledge, a friendly open style, she was a great communicator and she provided insightful feedback. I will be using the skills I have gained in both my professional and personal life. Overall, it was a thoroughly rewarding experience.”

David Scott MBA FCCA, Accountant

“This was excellent professional training, challenging and stimulating. Mary is a fantastic trainer and she got through a huge amount of work smoothly and very professionally. Great experience, excellent facilitator, very approachable and grounded approach.”

Paula Lonergan, Professional Development Director

“I have always taken a problem solving approach to situations but realised that solutions are most effective when they are brought about by the parties themselves. I embarked on the course to learn how to help others get to the root of the problem and craft a suitable solution themselves. I highly recommend this course; not just to those hoping to become professional mediators, but to anyone managing people, groups or teams.
Mary imparts knowledge- and experience-based wisdom, expertly and acts as an advocate for each trainee. Mary creates and provides an excellent learning environment and manages to balance theory with reality perfectly. Excellent Course!!”

Barbara Fitzgerald Malone, MBA

“Mary is an outstanding facilitator who modelled excellent mediation skills throughout the course. She responded thoughtfully and comprehensively to participants’ questions. She encouraged and challenged everyone to learn.”

James O’Leary, Retired School Principal and Barrister

“An excellent training programme. Mary was a totally professional facilitator. She was a talented teacher, engaging, supportive, encouraging and light-hearted while at the same time ensuring that each individual developed as a competent mediator. Her attention to detail and to each individual was extremely impressive. She just made it all so easy, we hardly knew we were being challenged. I can recommend this programme and Mary as facilitator in the very highest terms and without reservation to all aspiring mediators.”

Siobhan Quinn, Retired School Principal

“Mediation is a key skill required within the HR function and for me it was about learning the key skills required, understanding the Legislation and procedures involved as a practising Mediator as a member of the MII. I loved every minute of the course with Mary, it was delivered in a practical and very interactive way, with a lot of roleplay scenarios, which became easier as I practiced the skills of Mediation. I would highly recommend this course.”

Catherine O’Rourke, Human Resources Manager, Castleknock Hotel

“I can honestly say that this training has helped me both personally and professionally – I feel much calmer and able to remain present in the face of conflict and it has enhanced my work with my coachees. What I liked best about the training was the facilitator’s non-judgemental, patient and naturally curious style. I would certainly recommend this training as a very practical, hands-on introduction to the world of mediation.”

Rita Sharkey, Facilitator/Coach

“Great use of role plays and feedback balanced with shorter theory pieces.
Skilled facilitator with great style… dealt effectively with questions and gave succinct feedback”

Eamonn McGee, Independent HR Practitioner

“Excellent course, I’ve genuinely learned so much and I can use the principles I’ve learned in other circumstances too, especially the art of using open and searching questions. In meetings now I have a much more effective way of gathering relevant information. Mary has a wonderful ability to teach and deliver information.”

Nigel Carson, Cornerstone Mediation and Facilitation

“Mary is excellent in her method of teaching, very tuned into the needs of each student and giving clear guidance and support. The role play was very helpful in understanding how knowledge is applied in practice”

Daniela Jurj, National Coordinator, Migrant Family Support Service

“For me the benefits of the course were an understanding of the structured Mediation process itself. I believe that I will now to be better able to manage conflict in life and work.
The course was highly interactive, blending theory with sample case discussion and role play. Observing my classmates role play and practising myself, was really useful and built confidence. Tutor feedback was always constructive. A particular learning for me was to witness the value of really listening to the other party. Seeing the value of reality testing questions, in assisting parties to move forward, was powerful.
I recommend this course. It is practical and enjoyable.”

Deirdre Murray, Training Specialist

“I found the course to be very beneficial, I have completed a number of conflict resolution courses but this course thought me the benefits of listening and allowing people time to work through their issues and hear themselves. I enjoyed the theory but the role plays allowed for real life situations and the roadblocks you can encounter during a dispute.
I would highly recommend this course and have done.”

Geraldine Columb, Regional Manager for National Learning Network for Dublin Wicklow and the North East