Conflict can arise in professional situations as easily as it can in personal ones. Knowing how mediation can diffuse and resolve professional disputes goes a long way to ensuring your workplace remains a calm and positive environment.
Conflict at work
Disagreements are bound to happen when different professionals work together to deliver a large project. While the goal might be the same, each person may have a different way to achieve it. Ordinarily, disagreements of this kind are resolved by the professionals themselves as the process to complete the project gets underway.
If the conflict isn’t resolved, however, it can become destructive for the rest of the employees in the company and hamper progress.
In addition, although most colleagues know each other exclusively in professional scenarios, it’s possible that personal differences of opinion or issues can creep into workplace relationships too.
When this happens, employee morale plummets as other team members feel uncomfortable around the disputing parties. Productivity will reduce too and an unhappy workplace environment will become the norm.
How can mediation solve conflict in the workplace?
It’s important to solve conflict as quickly as possibly in the workplace to maintain a friendly environment for all workers. Speedy conflict resolution is also needed to attain the goals the company has set as an organisation.
HR professionals are often able to resolve conflict in-house, but if the conflict prevails after this process, mediation may be a logical next step.
Mediation is confidential in nature, helping to protect the reputations of the parties involved and the company.
There are also other benefits to using mediation to resolve a workplace dispute:
- Quicker resolution than using the adversarial court process
- Less cost
- Each party granted equal treatment in confidential interviews
- Longer lasting resolution than by court process
To embark on a mediation process, both parties must understand the following:
- The process is voluntary and all parties have to agree to be part of it
- Any party is allowed to withdraw from the process at any time
- The process is confidential unless all parties agree differently
- Mediation works at a fast pace
- The mediator does not take sides
- The solution is to be agreeable for all parties
Using mediation as a conflict resolution method helps both parties peacefully resolve their issues and helps the conflicting parties adjust to the agreed solution. The solution itself is formed after examining both side’s point of view.
Sadly, some professional conflicts may only be able to be resolved with the court process, but the majority are able to be solved through mediation.
09 October 2017