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Shan Veillard-Thomas from The Legal Partners highlights how mediation might help you deal with a tricky situation at work.
If you have any disagreements, arguments, personality clashes or communications breakdowns at work or been the victim of minor bullying mediation may be a way of resolving things without having to resort to more formal action.
Mediation is a great way of avoiding these kind of workplace relationship problems getting out of control by getting employees and employers to address the issues early on, in a more relaxed and positive manner.
It allows both sides to talk and to be heard and understood, even if opinions still differ.
Mediation has become increasingly popular in the UK. It can provide solutions which meet the needs of all parties;
Any member of staff can ask their line manager or HR to discuss this with them. Unions can also assist.
Both parties must voluntary agree to go to mediation and understand that it is without prejudice, meaning that nothing said can be used afterwards in any disciplinary way.
Everything said in the mediation remains confidential which greatly helps in parties being open. The parties can merely tell HR that the mediation has taken place.
So, what is workplace mediation and how can it solve conflict at work?
In a workplace mediation the mediator, who is an impartial, non-judgemental, trained third party, helps two or more staff in dispute to try to reach an agreement.
Any agreement comes from those in dispute not from the mediator, who will help them come to a robust and workable agreement.
There is a sharing of explanations without judgement from the mediator. The mediator guides the parties in seeking to resolve the problem and to find a way forward so that the parties can get back to work in a more peaceful atmosphere.
It is for the staff members in dispute to agree the outcome to resolve the dispute. An agreement settling the dispute is then signed by the members of staff. Workplace mediation is a voluntary process and all discussions are confidential.
*Author: Shan Veillard-Thomas from The Legal Partners