Workplace Mediation, also known as Conflict Resolution, refers to sessions in which two parties attempt to resolve a conflict with a third party present to facilitate the discussion.
Workplace Mediation is a cost-effective way to resolve disputes, improve employee relations and mitigate future conflict. Our network of expert mediators assist at all levels of the organisation, from board level through to team member conflict.
You can select a mediation service provided on-site at your premises, or the mediation can take place at one of our many practice locations across NSW.
Disputes suited to Mediation Services
Mediation is appropriate for a wide range of interpersonal and business-related disputes.
Common conflicts brought to mediation include:
• Significant conflict between colleagues including power/position disagreements, personal disagreements, tense or difficult relationships, and behavioural conflict including bullying and harassment.
• Dispute between business partners often involving misunderstanding or miscommunication around roles, responsibilities and expectations between the parties, or failure to reach agreement over important business decisions
What is the role of the mediator?
Our mediators are psychologists or counseling professionals with skills and training in negotiation and conflict resolution. Their role is to act as an objective third party to manage and facilitate communication between both parties, with an ultimate goal of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
Conflict at work typically involves a differing viewpoint or perspective, which is exacerbated and left unresolved because of heightened emotions and a failure to communicate adequately.
The role of the mediator, therefore, is to encourage and facilitate open and positive communication of each party’s viewpoint, in order to find common ground and reach agreement. A mediator will also assist the parties in conflict to ascertain which aspects of their interpersonal behaviour or approach may require adjustment in order to support positive interactions and productive outcomes into the future.
How does it work?
Mediation is a voluntary process, and all parties to the mediation must agree to participate.
Typically, a mediation will commence with separate sessions with each of the parties involved in the conflict. Usually this involves a meeting with each party to the conflict, and may also involve discussions with interested third parties such as a Managing Director. The mediator will then bring the parties together to discuss the issue and endeavor to reach consensus, and a way forward.
In the process of resolving a disagreement between two parties, the mediator is likely to:
• Start by ensuring that the conflict is well understood by all parties.
• Identify what is important to each party.
• Facilitate a solution that is best suited to each party’s needs.
Subject to the nature of the conflict, this process may take place over a 3-4 hours, or it may require further time or follow up meeting. Subsequent to the mediation, recommendations may be made regarding further action or follow up, although this is not always necessary.
Mediation has real outcomes, helping parties to reach consensus and work more effectively as a team. It is also a positive way to address interpersonal conflict at work, and to show your employees that you are responding to their needs and taking action to help them resolve their issues. Mediation has the capacity to restore workplace equanimity, and avoid the risks of more costly and time consuming legal solutions.
A Note on Legal Matters
Please note that our mediators are professional therapists who are experts in mediating interpersonal disputes. If your dispute relates to a legal matter you may need the services of an Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner (who generally have legal backgrounds). Your lawyer can assist you to find an appropriate provider.
Family Dispute Resolution is a form of mediation mandated by the Family Court when a divorcing couple is unable to reach agreement in relation to their financial or personal matters. If your matter relates to a Family Law dispute, you will need to seek mediation services from a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
How can we help?
Mediation is one of the many services that we can offer as part of our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If your company does not have an existing EAP agreement, we can set you up within minutes.
Call us today to arrange a mediation session or for more information about how we can assist you.