Mediation - A Quick Overview

Mediation in the Workplace is alive and well, and is being used in many organisations as the preferred route to resolving interpersonal conflict. Utilising Mediation often generates the optimum solution for the parties and for the company as it prevents the unwanted organisational problems that emerge from Formal Investigations. We present below a short outline of the Mediation Process.

  • The Mediator will meet separately with both parties for pre-mediation meetings and gather a brief outline of the complaint and response. They will then clarify the process in terms of engagement, and explain the ground rules and other approaches available to the two parties should mediation not be successful. 
  • It is important that the parties understand that they are responsible for the solutions arrived at in mediation and that coming to such solutions will be within their control, but will be facilitated by a skilled Mediator.
  • The Mediator should clarify what is confidential in the issues discussed with both parties. This is to ensure that those issues are not transferred in discussions with either party. 
  • The Mediator will then meet with both parties simultaneously to briefly outline the process that will be used for the mediation. They will also take any further questions or clarifications concerning process. The Mediator will then meet separately with the parties, listen to and fully understand their issues. They will provide an opportunity to each individual to check that they have correctly heard and understand all the issues.

The Mediator will help the parties to clarify one another’s issues to the extent that they can at least understand where the other person is coming from. This part of the process will initially involve individual meetings that may quickly/slowly get to clarify these issues in a joint meeting between the Mediator and both parties. 
The parties, with the help of the Mediator, will attempt to identify some values and future behaviours that each would find acceptable from one another. This will hopefully move them towards a ‘solution’ that builds some common ground and is focused on the way in which each of the parties should treat one another in the weeks/months/years ahead.  If this future-oriented solution is mutually acceptable the parties would need to work with the Mediator to:

  • Anticipate future road blocks and find ways around them, and
  • Put in place the enabling conditions for the success of the new arrangements.

The parties would also need to put in place review mechanisms whereby they themselves could monitor progress with the outcomes of the Mediation. Some assistance may be required from the Mediator in the early phases of these reviews and from line management in the latter phases.

The above is just an outline. The parties involved have to place their trust in the Mediator’s experience and skill, in that they can accept that the mediator may well deviate from the above if circumstances warrant such a move.

You can learn much more about Mediation by looking at the full article Best Practice Mediation Processes by clicking here.

At HRforSMEs we can help organisations put in place good Mediation processes and carry out Mediations and Investigations. We also provide assistance with all HR/IR issues.

Find out more, call us today on 01-278-8980/086-256-0082