Mediation is a process that allows people in conflict to resolve for themselves the issues that lie between them. The mediator supports the parties, not judging right and wrong but encouraging dialogue and problem solving.
In most cases, after preliminary discussions, mediation for workplace conflict can take place over the course of one day, usually in a neutral venue away from the workplace.
The characteristics of mediation are:
Voluntary process – parties are free to choose whether to participate
Confidential process – what is said in the room stays in the room. Parties agree to confidentiality up front and any notes/paperwork from the session are destroyed at the end of the day. Parties decide together whether they wish to share details of the agreement they have reached with anyone else.
Future-focussed – building towards better future working relationships not dwelling on past hurts or wrongs.
When to mediate
Mediation can be a helpful intervention when:
- A work relationship (peer to peer or employee to line manager) has broken down
- Teams are in conflict with each other
- A “personality clash” seem to be escalating
- “Difficult” conversations about performance or productivity have gone badly.
- Individuals just don’t seem able to hear or understand each other
- Business Change is causing friction and concern.
- A soft option – it takes courage and determination from all parties for mediation to succeed
- Appropriate in all cases
- Part of a formal disciplinary or grievance process. It stands alone as an approach to managing conflict.
Whatever the conflict situation you are facing why not get in touch. With a free 30 minute consultation, all you are risking is half an hour of your time.
Milee Brambleby is an accredited member of the Professional Mediators’ Association (PMA) and subscribes to their professional mediator practice standards and disciplinary code – available from www.professionalmediator.org