The mediation process offers individuals or business parties in the workplace who are engaged in a dispute, an
impartially guided opportunity to:
- Define the issues of contention, as each
of the parties perceive them to be, and consider the cause and effect
these on their working relationship
- Encourage an improved awareness of the needs and concerns of
each of the individuals or parties
- Establish whether there is sufficient common ground between the individuals, to search for a workable compromise
that would enable the working relationship to improve through the
resolution of identified issues
- In the case of no agreement being reached on how to resolve
the contentious issues, then at least the parties might reflect upon
further damage to the relationship can be minimised in future.
Performance Development offer a workplace mediation service to organisations based in Melbourne, Australia. To discuss whether we may be able to assist you, you can phone us at (03) 9725 3777
Mediation Process Pre-requisites
In entering the mediation process, if there is going to be any reasonable
chance of improving the situation, the following are some pre-requisites
that the parties need to carefully consider.
Neither party to a dispute should enter the mediation process lightly.
From my experience facilitating mediation processes through Performance Development, I would offer the following principles as suggestions ....
- There must be a willingness from each person to honestly consider
what they may be doing that is contributing to problems that are
perceived to exist in the working relationship, and be willing to
portion of responsibility for contributing to finding solutions
that are mutually acceptable.
- Both parties need to recognise there will be
some discomfort and unease in confronting and discussing
issues causing the conflict
- Each of the parties must have a desire to improve the situation
- There must be a genuine willingness to give consideration to
the other person’s view of the problems.
- There must be an acceptance of the confidentiality of discussions
during the day – that is, proceedings or comments from
the process should not be disclosed to work-mates outside of
the mediation process,
without the mutual consent of the actual participants.
- Finally, the parties need to accept a no-blame exit opportunity
for either of the individuals during the course of the process.
In other words, either of the parties can choose to withdraw
process at any time. The obvious risk, and disincentive to
such a decision to withdraw, is that the issues causing the conflict
A Guide to the Cost of Mediation
Given that the cost of a half-day mediation process can be around $1,200 - it is important that the above principles are accepted by both parties before mediation actually proceeds. However the cost of mediation must be weighed against the cost of the dispute to the business.
The role of the mediator is to offer no judgement on the issues, but
simply attempt to promote a clear and open exchange of views – attempting
to help each of the parties crystallize their feelings and concerns
and to perhaps consider things from a different perspective.
It is important for both parties to accept that the role of the mediator
in no way involves apportioning blame, but instead is about encouraging
constructive dialogue between the parties, so as to
find a way to move the situation forward.