Conflicts within the workplace are inevitable. After all, you are bringing together people from all different backgrounds and belief systems and asking them to work together toward a common goal. This isn’t always an easy task. Conflicts are bound to arise from time to time because individuals might pursue their own interests, needs, and values which could conflict with those of a colleague. When this happens, it may be necessary to use mediation to resolve the conflict.
What is mediation?
Mediation is simply an informal process in which two parties come together with a mediator to find an agreeable solution. It can be a great process for solving business-related disputes. Unlike costly litigation, mediation is generally a more cost-effective and quicker way to resolve disputes while also aiming to preserve relationships. There are no document filings or discovery court appearances, but rather a means of communication where two parties agree to meet and discuss the issue with a mediator present.
How does mediation work?
The mediation process begins when both parties agree to meet with a mediator. Prior to the meeting, the mediator may meet individually with the parties to gather background information. After all necessary information has been collected, the mediator will schedule a meeting date at a neutral location. The mediator is experienced with leading the conversation in a way that allows both parties to respectfully share their opinions and discuss their issues. The goal is to identify common goals and ultimately find a solution that works for everyone involved. The mediator does not impose a solution, but rather encourages the involved parties to reach an agreement between themselves.
Mediation is an effective means of resolving conflict without pursuing legal action or damaging the relationship between the involved parties. The goal of mediation is resolution, rather than litigation or even firing an employee. Meditation encourages the open flow of communication and helps both parties better understand each other. This can be especially beneficial for businesses because it is timely, immediate, and a fraction of the cost of litigation.