Mediation is among the services MSEC’s Organizational Development and Learning department provides. There are many steps we go through pre-mediation to determine whether the situation requires a mediator or an investigator or attorney.
When is it time to seek out a mediator?
- Has the relationship in question begun to leak into the department? Team? Organization?
- Has one of the parties gone to HR or their boss and requested a mediator or third party?
- Has work been interrupted? Absences increased?
- Are silos forming where employees are taking sides?
If you can answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, calling a mediator might be an effective next step.
Once the mediator is contacted, he or she goes through a number of steps to set up the actual mediation.
- Conduct pre-mediation conversations with all parties.
- Ask and confirm that all parties are willing to “show up,” not only physically, but mentally. This is imperative.
- Find a time that works for all parties and choose a neutral location.
- Inform HR, leadership, and others that the mediation is confidential.
Once a mediation is scheduled, the mediator takes steps to ensure a “safe” and productive environment. These include:
- Setting up “norms.” These should be requested by parties involved.
- Providing an opportunity to hear all sides.
- Taking breaks when needed.
- Reiterating that the mediation is confidential.
Mediation can be a healthy, proactive next step to repairing a damaged working relationship. The goal is to find commonalities all parties can recognize.
“Every fight is on some level a fight between differing ‘angles of vision’ illuminating the same truth.”
Mahatma K. Gandhi (Indian leader, nonviolence activist)