Florence came to Canada from Malaysia with her husband in 1979. She was a stay-at-home mother with four children when she decided to take the Conflict Resolution program in the late 1990s. She was going through a divorce at the time.
When she worked through a mediator as part of the divorce process she did not find it as helpful as she would have liked, even though she was told the mediator was one of the best.
“I can do better,” she thought, and began to seek training in the field. Flipping through the Continuing Education calendar she found the Conflict Resolution program.
“The MRU Conflict Resolution program changed my life. I realized the importance of having conflict management skills while I was going through the divorce. The program gave me hope and a new lease on life,” Florence says.
Since graduating, Florence has worked in the field of mediation in the justice system. As a Chartered Mediator, Florence works for the Alberta Justice Civil Mediation Program as well as serving as a Family Mediator for Alberta Family Justice Services. During that time she has witnessed over 2,000 mediations.
She is also a Certified Life Coach and member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). She has her own consulting company, Arrow Mediations Inc. Florence also volunteers in junior and senior high schools, teaching peer mediation skills to students.
“My favourite part of the mediation process is to see the shift in people’s attitudes that allows them to come to an agreement,” she says. “They have empathy for the other person.”
“MRU has great instructors who have hands-on experience and passion in this field,” she says. “The Conflict Resolution program provided me with the skills and ability to work within the field of mediation. The curriculum is very hands-on and there are many opportunities to practice skills in class as well as in real life. I could apply what I learned right away.”
Florence is now an instructor with the Conflict Resolution Extension Certificate herself. She coaches new students as they go through the program and helps them prepare for assessments. “Going through this program as a student, a coach and now as a part-time instructor, I know that without these important life skills I would not be where I am today. I began my life journey towards being a successful mediator by taking that first step at MRU,” Florence says.
— by Karen McCarthy
— photo by Krystal Hurt