We like working with people. Whether we are assisting start-ups, entrepreneurs, established companies or life partners, in all cases we focus on the person and their desires and needs. Giving people genuine attention is what motivates us.
Our philosophy is influenced by our varied backgrounds (the legal profession, organisational psychology and journalism). What unites us is the conviction that every individual has universal needs such as recognition, being seen and being valued. But in practice we express our feelings in terms of what another person has “done to us.” We struggle to understand what we want or need in the moment, and how to effectively ask for what we want without using unhealthy demands, threats or coercion. We take inspiration from a model for nonviolent communication developed by the American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg.
Annemarie van Raay (1971)
After my degree in Organisational Psychology at the University of Groningen, I have had various jobs in HR in a number of different companies. I then set up a retreat in Austria for silence, meditation and yoga, among other things. At present, I work on assignments as an HR manager, organisational psychologist, coach and mediator. I also give people individual guidance using the Journey methodology (see the information elsewhere on the site). I am empathic and am genuinely interested in other people, I can give people a sense of calm and I am good at listening. I enjoy getting to the bottom of the matter and bringing issues out into the open. I have been through a personal process of developing awareness, which has enriched my life enormously. This motivates me to see and bring out the best in other people and in organisations. Mediation is a powerful tool for achieving this.
See too www.annemarievanraaij.nl
Roelof Vos (1965)
I studied Tax Law at the University of Groningen, after which I had a variety of jobs at various firms, both large and small. I currently work as a lawyer for the tax specialists Hertoghs Advocaten (www.hertoghsadvocaten.nl). I also lecture in law at Leiden University (the Moot Court). I am skilled in building relationships, I have a keen analytical brain, an open mind and a direct style of communication. In my career as a lawyer, I have become increasingly interested in how conflicts arise. Lawyers usually come into contact with people once they are already embroiled in a conflict. Of course it would be good if things did not get that far. That’s why I decided to become a mediator.
Frederique de Jong (1968)
After my degree in Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam, I started work as a journalist writing for magazines and newspapers. I discovered my love for discussion when working for Amsterdam’s local radio. I spent ten years as a presenter for the news radio station BNR Nieuwsradio and two years working on the news programme NOS Radio 1 Journaal.
I am a good discussion leader who can interpret what people are saying and make connections. My deepest wish is for people to understand one another better so that conflicts can be resolved. It is even better if conflicts can be avoided in the first place. Pre-mediation is a good tool for that. Honest, confidential, profound discussion can lay bare people’s wishes and expectations, and thus enable a harmonious partnership. I particularly enjoy pre-mediation for start-ups as it also gives me a taster of their brilliant ideas for a better future.
Ton Croiset van Uchelen (1960)
My law degree from Utrecht University led me to the legal profession. Being a solicitor at Houthoff I, learned the bits and pieces about (insurance-) litigation. Subsequently I switched to positions in the business, where I gained experience e.g. in the IT-sector (software), in FMCG and in the pharmaceutical industry, mainly as General Counsel with final responsibility for legal affairs. For several years now I have my own legal consulting practice with very diverse clients, both entrepreneurs and companies. A special area of interest is consulting franchisees and their representatives.
While working in this business I developed a different insight on the various interests that clients may have. And on the interests of the opposite party. These interests are often overlooked while debating who is ‘legally right’ or when parties play their usual power game. In this case the achieving of a win-win outcome is impossible.
This triggered my mission to focus on preventing conflicts, and – if that is not possible – trying to jointly resolve the matter. I am an easily accepted moderator in negotiations, with a sharp, analytical eye and ear for “the underlying interests” and for any unspoken wishes and feelings. These characteristics help a lot to bring two parties together.
Marijke Thomas – Lont (1978)
After my degree in Dutch Law at the University of Groningen, I worked as a legal specialist for a legal aid insurance company. I then went on to work for the district court. There, I learned about mediation. As a mediation officer, I helped the parties in court cases find a suitable mediator to resolve their dispute. Talking to one another and in particular listening to what the other side is really saying is the key to unearthing the real issues. This enables solutions to be found that are much more valuable than a ruling by a judge.
The decision to become a lawyer seemed logical to me as I want to be the person mediating or, where necessary, pleading a case in court.
I currently work as a family law specialist for my own firm NAAM Advocaten. My interest in people and their development and my strong drive to deliver legally sound work are now coming into their own. I particularly like assisting people in divorce situations. A divorce is often a turbulent process involving both legal and personal questions. I find that combination really fascinating. I am committed, warm-hearted, analytical, and confrontational where necessary.