Mediation - Solving disputes outside court!

Are you looking for a mediator in the Berlin region or anywhere else throughout Europe? Do you need an English-speaking conflict manager for your international project? I am here for you.

In my main area of expertise, business and environment, I handle cases covering corporate and business contexts, as well as project planning and construction, for example wind farm conflicts. As a member of Ponschab + Partner Mediation Office and of the KNE mediator pool, I work in association with particularly qualified colleagues. Furthermore, mediation for relationships and organizations is also close to my heart. Throughout the mediation process, I accompany you as a neutral third party helping to find a solution. I also offer conflict consulting or systematic preparation for negotiations. All my services can be booked in English, in German or bilingually.

Management and team training - optimising your communication

My training concept "clear communication" is an abundant tool-box of methods for better cooperation, understanding and conflict management. As a mediator, a coach and an experienced manager from the energy industry and energy transition, I will design a customised solution for you. Further, I am happy to implement training according to your specified course plans.

I conduct seminars in German and English. Additionally I also speak Spanish and Swedish. My target groups are executives and employees from companies and projects in the fields of business and environment: wind energy, new energies, energy management or industry as well as public employers, international companies and consortia.

Dr. Matthias Bruhn

Working Areas – Business and Environment

Business conflicts

Do you feel that your time and energy are being drained by legal disputes and tensions with business partners in your projects and your business development? As a mediator I support you in reaching viable agreements. Avoid rocking the boat and save the time you would otherwise spend in litigation! Further, consider booking a negotiation seminar where you and your employees can practice acting consistently and getting your points across in a cooperative way.

Planning and Construction

Construction projects, e.g. in wind power or infrastructure, are often controversial. There seem to be irreconcilable interests such as nature conservation, climate protection, residents’ and owners’ interests. You can optimise your staff’s conflict resolution skills in a targeted negotiation training. Or let me initiate a mediation with planners, environmental initiatives, administration and other stakeholders to bring transparency and enhance the good will for sustainable solutions. In the state of Brandenburg I can obtain impartial funding through the KNE Fund Mediation.

Labour disputes

A boss’s expectation of an employee’s job may differ from that of the employee. Conflicts among colleagues reduce work performance – conflicts ranging from natural competition to bullying. A "joke" may come across as sexual harassment. What is normal for one person feels like hell for another and may force you to go to court. In mediation, we re-establish a con-structive atmosphere with no further attacks or counter-attacks. If the anger has also affected the colleagues, a team training can bring new cooperation and performance.

Working Areas – Relationships and Organisations

Relationships: Family, Inheritance, Divorce

We are particularly close to our partners, our family and relatives and are aware of the contro-versial issues that can spoil our day or even lead to a "Wars of the Roses". Most of the time, family members are also materially dependent on one another. Separations - especially with joint children - or inheritance disputes bring practical problems and hurt. In a mediation we use negative emotions to generate positive solutions. Let us channel your dispute to become constructive and strengthen your relationship - or enable a fair separation.

Good neighbours

Do your neighbours get on your nerves? Almost any habits, preferences or hobbies can become a problem. A neighbours‘ conflict can lead to hostility and even bring us to court.
In a mediation, the interests and positions are clarified. An agreement is always possible, even if we hardly believe in it anymore. After a mediation, neighbours can often look into each other’s eyes again, which is hardly possible after court proceedings.

Coaching your Congregation

Congregations and religious groups are based on shared values. But even the apostles Peter and Paul had different conceptions and working methods. In case of conflicts in the church context, I focus both on the differences and the commonalities. A solution can be found if the different priorities and interests are recognised in the joint work. A bad mood can turn into understanding and we can often generate momentum for new plans and ideas.

My Way of Working

After more than 25 working years, I am convinced that no area of life is without conflict. But no conflict is without resolution when mediation brings to light the history and the interests of the conflict partners.

People and organisations invest millions every year to win their disputes. I have invested and learned how everyone can win.

In complex cases or with larger groups, I prefer to work in co-mediation with a colleague. Depending on the needs, I use "Ponschab + Partner" or my international network with partners in countries such as Italy, the UK¸ Poland or Sweden or I work with young mediators gaining experience on their first cases after their training.

„Clear Communication“: My training concept integrating modern approaches such as:

  • Systemic Psychology
  • Communication Psychology (Schulz von Thun)
  • Transactional Analysis
  • „Non-Violent Communication“ (Rosenberg)
  • „Tactical Empathy“ (Chris Voss)
  • Theme-centred interaction (TCI – Ruth Cohn)
  • „Getting to Yes“ (Harvard Business School)
  • Leadership by Empathy
  • Gestalt Psychology
  • Focused Counseling (Tim Lohse)
  • NLP

In management training, team training or individual coaching, you will always receive a sound introduction to the topic. But hands-on experience brings the greatest learning success. That‘s why I focus on practical exercises and discussions.

Concrete situations from your everyday work or from the seminar are particularly instructive. We analyse behaviour by example and train according to the topic in plenary, in small groups, in partner or individual work. Clear communication is the key to effective work.

My Professional Development

Since 2019 Managing partner of a real estate company GbR (family business, rental of residential and commercial premises, construction measures), together with my brother (finances).
Since 2015 Independent trainer and mediator.
2006 to 2015 Manager at a large European energy company, in the area of research and development across national borders.
2003 to 2006 Project manager in the planning and construction of wind farms, e.g. balancing with contractual partners, residents, authorities, nature conservation and other interests. Supply and service contracts for construction and operation of the plants.
1999 to 2003 International projects, e.g. in the reconstruction of the Kosovo energy sector.
1992 to 1999 Research and teaching in heating and air-conditioning technology, power plant, solar and geothermal technology at TU Berlin and GFZ, the German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam.
1983 to 1991 Studies in Energy and Process Engineering at TU Berlin.
1981 to 1982 Year abroad: church social work in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

I regularly attend further training and supervision.

Since 2020 Licensed trainer BM®.
Since 2022 International and intercultural mediator (InMEDIATE).
Since 2020 Licensed mediator BM®.
Since 2018 Mediator in conflicts concerning "nature conservation and energy transition" (KNE and European University Viadrina).
Since 2016 dvct-certified coach.
Since 2015 Certified mediator (IMK, FU Berlin).
Since 2013 Management trainer (Institut Team Dr. Rosenkranz, Gräfelfing, QRC-certified).
Since 1998 Dr.-Ing. of Energy and Process Engineering (TU Berlin).
Since 1997 Lay preacher of the Evangelical United-Methodist Church. Contact with many churches and religious communities, Catholics, Protestants and free churches.
Since 1996 Married to Simone Bruhn, Gestalt therapist. Father of three.
Born 1963 in Berlin. Grew up in the Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg.
  • „Danke für ihre Unterstützung, ich denke Sie waren genau der richtige für unsere Konstellation. Wir sind froh, dass inhaltlich und energetisch mit Ihrer Hilfe so gut wie alles gelöst werden könnte. Nun schauen wir wie die Umsetzung geht.“Geschäftsführerin einer GbR
  • „Thank you for guiding us in our decision-making!“Mediation participant
  • “You often intervened in the right spot. Your follow-up questions came at the right moment and you rephrased accusations in an appropriate way.”Mediation participant
  • „In the context of the subsequent practice group, I noticed how good and intensive our training was despite the few sessions. I enjoyed it and found you to be very empathetic, warm and competent. Thank you very much!“Participant „clear Communication“
  • „Especially helpful for me was the advice to find concrete examples to clarify an issue.“Me-diation participant
  • “Thank you for leading us with clarity and warmth and for your flexibility in finding appointments!”Participant in a mediation in a civil-law partnership

What is Mediation?

Mediation is particularly advisable in a dispute if you will continue dealing with the other side, i.e. if there is an interest in an amicable solution. In these cases, there should be no loser, both sides should win if possible. However, people often compromise and settle down for less to avoid escalation. But in a compromise, valuable resources, time and motivation are lost.

The most popular example of the benefits of mediation and the win-win solution is the two sisters fighting over the last orange. If the mother intervenes quickly, she will cut the orange in half and give each daughter half. If she talks to both of them, she finds out that one daughter wants to grate the orange peel for her cake batter. The other daughter has an appetite for orange juice. Here it becomes vivid that we only find the best result when we uncover the interests of both sides - and that requires time and know-how.

Mediation Process (Download PDF, 55.9 KB)Mediation Principles (Download PDF, 58.38 KB)

The Advantages of Mediation

Be a Role Model!
Many smouldering conflicts are not being resolved. Growing individualism, new technologies and new media bring new areas of conflict. More than ever, we need to tackle conflicts systematically instead of dragging them out. In the mediation process, we actively seek a solution. At the same time, all participants learn conflict management techniques that they can take with them into their everyday lives.
Save Time!
We will start your mediation as soon as your schedule allows. After only a few weeks, sometimes even days, it becomes clear whether a mediative solution can be found. In normal court proceedings, not even the first hearing would be scheduled after this period.
Optimise your Cost!
The cost of mediation includes the mediator´s fee plus your own expenses, e.g. for legal advice, etc. If there is a lot of money at stake, mediation is usually cheaper than court proceedings (where the cost depends on the amount in dispute.) But especially if the amount in dispute is low, you should consider mediation, where you can mend your relationship instead of escalating tensions. You can save the consequential costs that arise from conflict.
Sustain your Relationships!
Conflict, especially in court, is about "being right". In mediation, you meet with your conflict partner at the same table. Usually, you will find your way back from an argument into a mode of communication. A new beginning is set in the relationship with your business partner, colleague, neighbour, family member, etc. The relationship continues.
Do not "go to court right away"!
A smouldering conflict harms all parties involved, no matter whether it is about inheritance disputes or disagreements with your employees. Address and resolve your issues without court proceedings and clear the air with my help.
Work confidentially!
In mediation, you and your conflict partner alone decide who will find out about the procedure. Negative publicity is avoided.
Find the innovative solution that satisfies everyone!
In court proceedings, everything comes down to enforceable titles, but where do your interests lie? Soft factors and flexible solutions provide the best answers in most conflicts. Often recognition or an apology are just as important as the material points in dispute, but only in the professional dialogue atmosphere of mediation will these answers be found.
Design your own solution!
In mediation you work out the right solution yourself together with your conflict partner. Nobody decides "over your head". The participants in mediation are usually satisfied with the process and the result because they work it out themselves.
Choose your expert mediator!
A judge will rarely be an expert in the subject matter she has to decide on. A mediator does not always need expertise either. But often an understanding of the subject matter and of the people is a key to an effective process. My fields of work and my background presented on this page give you an insight into my professional competence.
Source: Jörg Risse, Wirtschaftsmediation: München, C. H. Beck, 2003

Explaining Mediation

Partnerships and Memberships