When people work together, conflicts with team members, colleagues in other departments, supervisors, or the management may occur at some point. Responsible employers and HR managers recognize that it is best to manage and resolve the conflict early, and the right way to do it is with help from a professional workplace disputes mediator. Here’s how a skilled and seasoned mediator will help resolve workplace conflicts.
Establish the Facts of the Dispute
The mediator will arrange to meet together with all parties involved in a workplace dispute in a private and confidential setting. They may set out by asking descriptive and open-ended questions to get each party talking. They will encourage the co-workers involved (including any superiors) to present their version of what exactly occurred.
They will listen intently, take notes about the conflict, and identify common grounds in their stories from where a resolution can begin. While the mediator will adopt a constructive and positive approach, they may set a few ground rules at the outset so that the workplace mediation process works in a systematic and efficient manner.
Empathize with Each Side’s Point of View
A skilled workplace conflict mediator will make sure that none of the parties to the dispute feels left out or disrespected, no matter what may be their position in the business organization’s hierarchy. If the workplace dispute is between workers and a superior or someone from the management, it becomes even more crucial to ensure that the workers trust the neutrality of the mediator and do not feel excluded.
One side’s distrust in the mediation process can be totally counter-productive in workplace conflicts, and it will depend on the leadership skills of the mediator to win their confidence through demonstrable fairness and objectivity. Even if the workers give a vent to their frustration during mediation, it will happen in a confidential setting rather than in full public view in a court of law.
Reframe and Steer the Conversation
Even when both parties involved in a workplace conflict want a resolution to take place in the mediation room, they may be reluctant to be the first one to show the willingness for compromise. An experienced workplace disputes mediator will enable this process by creating an environment of optimism and steering the conversation towards conflict resolution.
Sometimes one party may make the effort to reach out, but the other party may continue to remain deeply entrenched in an emotional conflict. In this situation, the mediator can work individually or privately with each party to bring back the focus towards resolution. The mediator will gently remind both sides to see each other as “participants in resolution” instead of persisting with seeing each other as opponents or adversaries.
Keep the Focus on Mutual Interests
Committed and judicious workplace conflict mediators know that much of their work will relate to bringing back the focus on mutual interests of both sides. Instead of remaining stuck with each side’s stated positions, a focus on “why” they all agreed to mediation will widen the possibilities of a swift and satisfactory resolution.
The mediator would know that a focus on interests would help even a stubborn party to look at what they really want. This will turn the meeting’s direction towards seeking a productive resolution.
Call Our Workplace Mediation Specialists Today
Mediating workplace conflicts is one of the strong skills of our accomplished team at Advanced Mediation Solutions. Call us today at 856-669-7172 to request a complimentary consultation or fill out this online contact form.