© 2016 Insight Management Consulting

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Mediation and Conflict Resolution

There is usually an effervescent mix of interests, personalities, values, group cultures, events and emotions all coming together to create the caustic conflict situation in question. These all need to be considered when working to resolve not just the surface conflict but the underlying causes, especially the ones high in the minds of those involved. 

This is done through a series of meetings and a special communication process during the mediation meeting(s) that is based on relationship counselling techniques. 

 

  1. Initial briefing meeting with client to gain understanding of the background and context to the situation and of the desired outcomes. 

  2. One on one meetings with each party to the conflict to understand their own perspective of the issues and events involved. These meetings are also important to build trust with the consultant. 

  3. Mediation meeting - this is the key meeting where both / all parties come together and have a chance to express their views to each other in a controlled environment facilitated by the consultant. 

 

Here each person will express how they see the situation, what are the issues for them, and what are their feelings and concerns. When one person is talking the other person cannot interrupt but must listen even if they disagree with what the other is saying. Each person will get their chance to express their point of view. 

Each person then takes turns proposing various alternatives for reaching a solution to the problems or disagreements.

Then each takes turns stating what they would be willing to consider as possible solutions or agreements. 

This process allows people to

  • express themselves without interruption,

  • listen to the other person and hear what they are saying,

  • practice mutual problem solving, and

  • reach mutually agreed solutions.

As a result

  • misunderstandings can be rectified,

  • disagreements and disputes can be clarified,

  • adversaries can start working as a team,

  • tension and frustration can be replaced by satisfaction with accomplishment, and

  • both parties can feel that they have achieved something from the process. 

 

The outcome of this process is an agreement arrived through mutual give and take or compromise. This forms the basis for specific changes in the workplace including behaviours, policies and processes, restructures and re-allocations, all of which can be implemented and monitored in partnership with management. All parties need to take responsibility for the success of the agreement. Ideally the consultant is involved in coaching those involved on how to transfer the agreement into workplace changes and deal with barriers and setbacks. The aim is always to achieve real and meaningful change by working through those involved.