Sarah Crayford Brown


What do you do for the business?

I’m delighted to be joining Busec as part of the new Community Partnership; together with my business partner, Alison Bennett, Conflict Masters will be offering our consulting to organisations – this includes bringing insight and expertise that enables organisations to identify and tackle those behaviours in their organisations that pose legal or ethical risks and damage staff engagement.

What is your favourite quote?

‘There are those who listen and those who are just waiting to speak’ as I think it is a perfect reminder for us – myself included – to make sure that we remember what great listening really means for the person who is talking; I believe that the quote is a derivative of something said by the author Steve Covey

What is your favourite book or movie?

Too many to choose from as I’ve read many great books: the first time I read ‘Wuthering Heights’ as a young teenager I was bowled over by it. When I read ‘The Handmaids Tale’ a couple of years ago (before the TV series) I thought that was one of the most powerful and frightening books I’d ever read. Right now I’m really enjoying Michelle Obama’s book ‘Becoming’.

What is something people in your industry/niche have to deal with that you want to fix?

I would love to see organisations having a rethink about how they approach workplace conflict and replace the negative connotations that come with a ‘Grievance Policy’ and making a complaint with a far more positive approach through a ‘Resolution Policy’ which focuses on resolving the issue.

What are your credentials/past experience?

I qualified as a barrister and spent 21 years as a prosecutor and also as a manager for most of this time. As part of the senior management team, I was also involved in implementing substantial organisational change within the Crown Prosecution Service. I trained as an in-house mediator in 2007 and my passion for mediation and my experience and confirmation of it as an effective means of resolving conflict led me to set up Mediation in the Workplace Ltd, a company which specialises in all aspects of conflict resolution including delivering the National Mediation qualifications.

I was awarded ‘Independent Mediator of the Year’ in the National Mediation Awards 2014 and ‘Mediation Champion of the Year’ in the National Mediation Awards 2015. I have also contributed a chapter examining the use of mediation in bullying complaints in The Handbook of Dealing with Workplace Bullying (2015).

What gives you the most satisfaction within your working life?

Mediating and in particular, the feeling of satisfaction that I have helped people move from the stress and unhappiness that was consuming them due to an unresolved conflict, and towards a place where they understand how and why they got there and to agreeing the first steps to resolving the issues and moving on.

If you were a cartoon character which would it be and why?

Wilma Flintstone – Wilma is the more passionate and assertive of the four, she has a deep love for husband Fred, but she never hesitates to let him know when he has gone too far in one of his schemes or in how he treats his best friend Barney. Her “mama bear” protectiveness has inspired her to punch out dinosaurs that have threatened her husband or daughter; I feel that way sometimes in relation to my husband and 3 children!

What are the values that drive you?

Integrity, authenticity, curiosity, honesty, challenge, responsibility and optimism

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I love the theatre, particularly fringe theatre (I’m an avid Edinburgh Festival goer), travelling, country walks, reading, swimming and spending quality time with family and friends.

Sarah works with Busec to deliver conflict resolution services You can also read Sarah’s related blogs here