Mediation and Conflict Transformation is required within any organization at times. When grievances great- or small linger, it is not uncommon to find one, or all of the following: panic attacks, depression, sickness absence, retaliatory action that inflames the situation, performance reviews, disciplinary measures and sacking. In most instances – especially when it is related to personality clashes or performance gaps — an external mediator is the best and fastest solution for all parties. Often triggered by the knowledge that the alternatives can get very expensive. There is inevitably a loss of team morale and productivity while the warring parties are at each other’s throats, and, if someone resigns there is the cost of recruitment. If a case does end up in there are potentially massive legal bills and settlement costs. Unfortunately, not many support a mediation culture as a standard. We are here to convince leaders that applying mediation early on, instead of waiting for trust to be completely broken, definitely pays off.
Although, at first, employees can be skeptical and resistant, people, generally speaking, do want to get things sorted out and to bring a difficult situation to an end. Paramount in mediation is that the entire process stays confidential — neither managers nor the HR department get a report from the mediator, and there is no obligation on participants to disclose any part of what has taken place. Generally the mediator meets with both “Sides” individually first for a listening session. This gives people the opportunity to “get it all off their chest- without judgement nor comment. Then, at another time, the two parties will meet together with the mediator. The mediator will impose an absolute rule that there should be no interrupting, and that each person gets equal airtime. The mediator holds that, and holds the respect. Then, the mediator will try to move the situation forward. Ideas are sought from the participants, and often a written “contract” or agreement is drawn up. Both sides will have to make concessions and then, working together, create their ground rules. The participants have to own the agreements made. The mediator is only there to facilitate and drive the process — not to dictate the outcome. The goal is at all times to restore and improve the relationship so that all parties involved can go back to work and perform. Match4Business does not offer legally binding advice, nor will a mediation be offered if the client’s intent is to dismiss an employee from the outset.