Workplace conflict is a drain on any business's resources
- Mediation is a fast and cost-effective way to resolve issues in a working environment where relationships are important.
- Resolution of conflict is achieved by consensus. It is not imposed "from above".
- All parties take ownership of the process and insodoing, take joint responsibility for making it work.
Mediation and Workplace Conflict
The effect of disagreements, disputes and conflicts can be harrowing for all those involved and can impact on the morale and the overall functioning of the business. It is important that when these matters arise all parties involved have a satisfactory route to resolve them.
Our skilled mediators motivate participants to work towards a solution in an environment where no one person can force his/her views on another. Any agreement reached is owned by all the participants who are empowered by both the voluntary and collaborative nature of the mediation process.
The Role of the Mediator
The mediator has a responsibility to assist each mediating party and cannot favour the interests of any one party over another, nor favour a particular result in the mediation. The mediator is ethically obligated to acknowledge any substantive bias on issues in discussion. The mediator's role is to ensure that parties reach agreements in a voluntarily and informed manner and not as a result of coercion or intimidation.
The mediator will discuss the process in detail with the parties involved before it commences and participants will have the opportunity at that stage to ask the mediator questions. Participants will each be given the opportunity to give an uninterrupted account of what the issues are from their point of view. The mediator will then ask the participants questions with a view to providing everyone with a greater understanding of what the issues are for each.
Identify Commonalities and Differences
Once sufficient information has been gathered, the mediator will work towards identifying any commonalities the participants may have, despite the fact that these may not at the time be apparent to the participants. The mediator will work with the parties to identify differences which the parties may have and how they can be worked to both parties advantage or how they may be overcome.
Methods for developing actions may include discussion, developing hypothetical plausible scenarios or the mediator may make a proposal which the parties may have a part in modifying to suit them.
- Agreements made in mediation come from the participants, not the mediator
- Participants in mediation may choose to sign a written agreement which is enforceable as a contract. If participants do not reach an agreement or develop a solution that works for everyone, they may still have their case handled by the court or resolved in some other way, for example by investigation or through the grievance procedure
- If participants do not sign a written agreement in mediation, and they decide to take their dispute to court, neither the mediator nor the participants can testify in court about what happened during the mediation.