Resolving Conflict at Work: Does Mediation Really Work?

Resolving conflict at work can be a necessary but painstaking task for any manager or organizational leader. Having the right tools in your toolbelt to manage unexpected tension in the office can make or break the tangible results you achieve.

Resolving Conflict at Work

Few people set out on their careers in management with a burning desire to focus on resolving conflict at work. And yet it’s difficult to be in leadership or human resources without having to face the inevitable colleague dispute from time to time. In fact, more serious conflicts can often unfold in workplace environments where those involved might start to wonder if legal action is necessary. Mediation is often a preferred method of conflict resolution as it is often less expensive and time-consuming than other, more serious methods that could become public and create additional headaches for the company.

Whether or not you’re a manager with improved conflict resolution skills, you may need to call upon a third-party facilitator to help with the issues facing your team. How do you know if mediation is right for your conflict at hand?

What is Mediation?

Mediation is the process of having an unbiased third-party support conflicting parties by collaborating on an agreement. Resolving conflict at work is often most effective when individuals have an opportunity to feel empowered and as though they contributed to the solution, rather than having rules of conduct imposed upon them. Effective conflict resolution tools, mediation specifically, make room for this type of empowerment while also allowing disputing parties to find some common ground, potentially strengthening future engagements.

Problem Solving Mediation in the Workplace

Problem-solving mediation must follow certain guidelines in order to create desired results. The mediator must be someone that isn’t involved with the company in any way, so managers get to sit this one out. The unbiased nature of the mediator is essential for resolving conflict at work because otherwise favoritism, past experiences, or ulterior motives may sway the mediator to one side or the other.

Utilizing Mediation at Work

Mediation problems occur when the solution is placed before the individuals. Business dispute mediation facilitators should remain calm, fair, and patient and maintain a neutral stance between parties. The process of mediation should also allow for each party to tell their side of the story, receive validation for their experience, and be granted time and space to release the emotional charge behind the conflict. Once emotional energy has decreased, the mediator should provide a space where each party feels they can contribute to the solution, negotiating until an acceptable compromise can be reached. While conflict resolution mediation is about finding a solution, it’s not about doing so abruptly without concern for individual needs and the upset behind them.

Resolving conflict at work may require some outside assistance. Knowing when to call upon a neutral mediator can make the difference between a successful resolution and one that creates more ruptures and tension among affected colleagues. Consult with the professionals who can help you make the right critical decisions in these matters. Contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today to get the right kind of resolution for your hard-working team.

Resolving conflict at work

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