Role Of The Mediator
When disagreements develop into conflicts stress is rampant, the stress response has been triggered and stress is doing the ultimate damage to the relationship.
The role of the mediator is to help both parties find common ground and to deal with unrealistic expectations in progressing towards conflict resolution. The mediator is responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between parties. He/she seeks out blind spots, interprets concerns, supervises the exchange of information, frames issues and defines the problems. The mediator’s role is only to facilitate the process while helping both parties resolve their dispute and reach an outcome both parties are happy to accept.
Conflict is caused when two parties disagree on a very important subject. On the surface we may think that regardless of the subject matter every conflict is the same; two sides stand opposite and opposed to each other and damage is done to everyone. However, both parties have their own reasons and motivation for taking a stand, embedded in these reasons and motivation are their individual emotions and feelings. This is a highly subjective and very personalised area; these emotions and feelings drive conscious and unconscious motivations. This is where the essence of the dispute lies.
Whether we like to admit it or not, there is not much difference between the two sides; both sides have now dug in and are motivated by their emotions and feelings. While management will be following company protocol and expecting to be treated as such, the staff member will be following their subjective perceptions on how they also expect to be treated. The bottom line is stressed human being against stressed human being, both with the same human instincts and individual stress responses; when an overwhelming amount of stress hormones are pumped into the bloodstreams of both parties resulting in both parties being in ‘attack mode’.
We need to put the brakes on the stress hormones to be able to establish normal communication and reason. Our mediators have vast experience backed up by education and training in stress management, mediation, communication and psychology. We understand the stress response, emotions and feelings and what they can do to relationships. By deescalating emotions and feelings and restoring normal communication both parties can be guided to practical and sustainable solutions, creating healthier workplaces for all.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all human and we are all driven by our survival instincts to protect ourselves in every way we can. Understanding this can enable staff and managers to be more objective so that stress related issues are not personalised and conflicts can be prevented. To prevent workplace conflicts managers should be trained in workplace stress education programmes, this is necessary if we are going to reduce and prevent stress related illness and psychosocial risks; protect the health and wellbeing of all employers and employees; and increase workplace performance and productivity.
Our mediation process has four phases:
Phase 1: The Introduction: When parties are brought together and introduced to the mediator. Opening statements are made by all and the rules and goals of the mediation are clearly stated. Parties are encouraged to work together towards a settlement.
Phase 2: Joint Discussion: Parties underline opening statements and specify important issues which need to be addressed.
Phase 3: Separate Discussions: Each party meets privately with the mediator to determine their position and investigate all ideas regarding a settlement. These separate discussions may happen several times as these are the core of the mediation process.
Phase 4: Joint Negotiation and Closure: After separate discussions parties come together to negotiate a potential settlement. If a settlement is achieved the mediator will document the main provisions, both parties are requested to sign this agreement or if necessary get it reviewed by a lawyer.
If you just need a sounding board or support while managing the conflict yourself, give us a call we would be happy to support you.
Our hourly mediation rate is €85 per hour.
We also offer support services. Give us a call, we would be delighted to discuss how we can help and support you.