How Great Can You Mediate?

by ltconsulting on May 17, 2012

The role of the mediator is to help parties reach a solution to their problem and to arrive at an outcome that both parties are happy to accept. Mediators avoid taking sides, making judgements or giving guidance. They are simply responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between the parties. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a common sense settlement agreeable to both parties in a case.

For a mediator to be successful he or she must possess a wide range of skills. One of the most important, but perhaps least appreciated, is the ability to actively listen to what a party is saying and to note what the party is not saying. All too often we hear what we expect someone to say rather than what is actually said. It is a fundamental principle that mediators must not prejudge the case nor impose their own prejudices on the parties. Furthermore, a mediator has to be able to tune into “where the speaker is coming from” and read the “sub text” or hidden messages given out by the parties.

Study the following dialogue between two department’s heads.

Russ MacDonald is the sales manager and John Gale is the production manager of a company that makes boxes for agricultural produce. Russ met John in his office late one Monday evening and the following conversation took place:

Russ MacDonald: “We’ve just got a big order from Topco. They said they must have it delivered by next Friday otherwise they will go elsewhere.”

John Gale: “We are not geared to take a big order by next Friday. All the machines have been set up and it will take a lot of time to reset them.”

R M: “Yes, but I have been chasing Topco for a long time. This is the first big order they have given us.”

JG: “That may be so but you should have found out if we could do the job before you went off making wild promises. There’s no way we can do a big order by Friday. We are fully stretched.”

R M: “You production people get me down. It takes me ages to get an order from Topco and then you are not prepared to put yourself out to supply them.”

 What caused the conflict? What signs of conflict is being demonstrated by both parties?

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What would need to happen to stop this conflict from escalating? What would need to happen for both parties to become resolving this conflict?

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Who will benefit from the course?

This course is of value to professionals and managers in organisations, wishing to introduce mediation to handle workplace conflict swiftly and cost effectively and who handle the following:

Delegates will learn how to:

Related information

 

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