"Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding."
- Dale Carnegie
(besides being a preferable alternative to ending up in the Labour Court)?
Mediation is one of the most efficient and cost effective mechanisms available to an organisation attempting to resolve workplace disputes and conflicts.
Facilitated by an independent third party it’s a flexible and informal process where both parties to the conflict or dispute have equal authority to reach agreements and where their perspective is respected.
The process encourages openness and honesty and has the benefit of being both voluntary and confidential to the limits of the law.
According to the UK Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) ‘Mediation is a completely voluntary and confidential form of resolving workplace disputes between people. It involves an independent, impartial person helping two or more individuals or groups reach a solution to a workplace dispute that's acceptable to everyone. Mediators do not make judgments or determine outcomes - they ask questions that help to uncover underlying problems, assist the parties to understand the issues and help them to clarify the options for resolving their difference or dispute.’
Small Business Owners can use Workplace Mediation as means of defusing and solving disputes in a way that has a better chance of concluding with a mutually accepted solution – one that preserves the spirit of cooperation and collaboration essential to a Business operating smoothly.
Workplace Mediation is increasingly seen as an intelligent and user-friendly alternative to managing differences and the distraction of certain HR problems in the workplace.
Situations in which personal differences between Managers and Employees are impacting on everyone involved, as well as the Business, are often best-served by using Mediation.
The features and benefits of Workplace Mediation include:
A mutually agreed solution
Informal resolution of problems
Workplace Mediation is informal and non adversarial. It is future focussed and designed to allow participants consider applying discussions of the present to their future relationships.
The parties can withdraw without recrimination any time. The participants retain control and responsibility for the outcome of the discussions which ensures their empowerment to sustain the agreed resolution over the medium and long term.
The success rate of workplace mediation is very high.