The cost and impact of workplace conflict

Conflict in the workplace is one of the biggest challenges managers and employees face. The most common reason for employees to leave an organization is conflict with a supervisor or co-worker. Often, it follows a prolonged period of turmoil and productivity loss. Recruitment and training of replacements add even more cost. Many of these potentially destructive situations can be averted.

An impartial resolution tool

Mediation offers an opportunity to resolve issues and reorient individuals to shared interests. It is a discussion where the parties reach a voluntary, uncoerced agreement with the help of a neutral third party. The process is private and confidential, facilitated by two licensed psychotherapists trained in mediation at the Mediation Center, Hamline University School of Law.

Encouraging integrative, creative solutions

Because it addresses shared interests and goals, the benefits of mediation can go beyond defusing a volatile situation. Just as important as resolution is a new appreciation for different points of view and commitment to enhanced working relationships.

The mediator’s role

  • Clarify and identify underlying issues
  • Help parties understand what is important to the other and why
  • Frame issues in neutral language
  • Help parties discover and focus on common interests and organizational priorities
  • Separate issues, interests and solutions
  • Focus the agenda on developing an agreement

The mediation process

While mediators maintain control over the structure, participants control the outcome. A mediator does not impose his or her judgment. If or when agreement is reached, it is documented and signed by both parties.

Mediation is confidential but the leader receives notification that a mediation was conducted  and is informed whether the parties reached an agreement.

A premeditation consultation can be helpful in clarifying options and identifying effective ways to address the situation productively, even if the parties decline to participate.

Talk with us about using mediation to resolve conflict