Mediation is one of the most useful interventions to manage difficulties in a working relationship. It is widely and successfully used in many different types of conflicts in the workplace. Workplace bullying or harassment situations can be resolved with mediation, particularly if it is used at an early stage in the dispute resolution process. Workplace mediation is most likely to have positive outcomes if it is attempted before any investigation process takes place.
Enabling parties to resolve difficult workplace relationship issues
As a mediator, my role is to facilitate constructive communication between the parties so that they are enabled to talk through their chief concerns and issues as well as hear those of the other party. When people are caught up in the often intense emotion of a breakdown in a working relationship, it can be very stressful to have to try and discuss and reach agreement on contentious matters. The supportive expertise of a skilled mediator can enable that to happen.
Independent and impartial mediation
Mediators do not tell the parties what to do or make recommendations. In fact, a key element in the Code of Ethics and Practice of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII) is the principle of self-determination – in other words, it is the parties themselves that make the decisions and determine the outcome, not the mediator.
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”Winston Churchill
“An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation!”Joseph Grynbaum
Why use workplace mediation?
Mediation is a confidential, supportive process to facilitate a problem-solving dialogue.
Benefits of Mediation include:
- Mediation offers an informal and confidential process in which each person gets to air their grievances directly with the other person. Because mediation is confidential, people can feel free to talk openly about the issues which concern them most.
- Mediation is faster and more cost effective, both in financial and human terms, than more formal and long-drawn-out procedures such as investigation or going to court.
- Mediation is voluntary and gives control of the issues to the people directly involved in the dispute and lets them make their own decisions about what is best for them.
- Mediation is a respectful process in which each party tries to work with the other to develop a solution that everyone can accept.
- Mediation is a low-risk option with a high rate of success so parties have little to lose and (other than the cost of the process) by engaging in a mediation process