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WORKPLACE MEDIATION & Red earth consultancy's approach

Why mediation?

Using mediation to help to resolve disputes and disagreements between colleagues in the workplace is becoming increasingly widely used in the UK, given the benefits that it can offer both to the individuals concerned, and to the organisation, compared to more formal alternatives (such as grievance processes, Employment Tribunals, legal litigation, and so on).

These more formal processes can lead to a  significant financial cost for the employer company, and perhaps more importantly, an enormous emotional cost for the people involved - often without a lasting solution to the original difficulty being achieved.  All of these factors mediation seeks to ease.

Aims

The aim of mediation is to enable two or more individuals to talk through their issues and concerns with each other, in a safe and confidential environment, so that they can work together to reach their own solution to the situation.

Mediation is typically used to help co-workers, or colleagues, at similar or differing levels within an organisation, to resolve an interpersonal difficulty; sometimes, however, the mediation will take place between an employee and their employer, where the issue relates to the contractual relationship between them.

The mediator facilitates this safe discussion, and contributes to it to the extent of supporting all parties in reaching a mutually agreed, workable outcome – importantly, s/he does not judge the individuals in the dispute, nor does s/he determine the solution to their difficulty for them.  Mediation is therefore a process that enables those involved to find their own solution – one with which they are equally comfortable, and that will stand the test of time when put into practice once the mediation concludes.

Principles

Mediation depends upon a number of key principles:

  • Respect: the first principle behind mediation – reflected in the mediator’s approach at all times – is one of respect for each of the individuals, and for the experience they have had that has led to the need for mediation

  • Non-judgement: as part of this, the mediator will never take sides, nor judge any of the people with whom they are working, nor their 'story'. Their core focus will always be on helping each person to find a way to share their perspective with the other(s) - for each person to then feel heard - and from there, for the individuals themselves to find their own lasting solution to the issue at hand.

  • Voluntary participation: key to the success of mediation is that it is undertaken voluntarily, with no individual feeling obliged to take part, nor to remain within the mediation if they feel that it is no longer serving them to continue. The mediator will underscore this principle at the outset, and will then regularly check in with each person as the work unfolds to ensure that they still wish to continue.

  • Confidentiality:  crucially, mediation is 100% confidential. No content of any discussion with the mediator will be shared 'outside the room', unless with the express permission of the individual concerned.

For more information on workplace mediation, or to talk through - at no obligation - a situation needing resolution where mediation might be an option for you to consider, please do just get in touch.

Our approach

At Red Earth Consultancy it is important to us to always tailor our mediation offering to the specific needs and circumstances of the individuals involved - so that we are in the strongest position to support them towards finding the best and most sustainable outcome for themselves, and for the organisation within which they work.

Introductory meetings

Before any mediation work begins, we therefore always invite each individual considering this option as a possible means of resolution to a confidential 1:1 ‘introductory meeting’ with the mediator, to fully explore the work needing to be done, and to clarify steps that would be involved if mediation were to proceed.  These meetings last for 1½-2 hours, and enable:

  • the individual to ask questions of the mediator, and learn everything that they need to know about the process, before deciding whether they would like to proceed

  • the individual to evaluate whether the mediator is someone they believe they could trust, to work with in this sensitive area

  • the mediator to learn in more detail about the situation, from each person's perspective, and from there to make a professional assessment as to whether mediation could indeed be an appropriate and useful means of seeking to resolve the issue(s) between the individuals involved.

Following these meetings, if all concerned are comfortable to move forward, the mediation process will then get underway. However - given the key mediation principle of voluntary participation, with no person feeling forced to take part - if one or more individual (including the mediator) were not to wish to proceed, other alternatives for resolution would then be explored.

Mediation meetings

If all are agreed to move forward with mediation, the mediator will then arrange to meet again with the individuals, typically at an offsite location away from the workplace, for a series of 1:1 and joint mediation meetings.  These meetings may be held over one day, over several days in a row, or on several half-days or days over a few weeks, depending on need.

Mutual agreement

The aim is that at the conclusion of the mediation, those involved will be ready either to sign a ‘Mediation Resolution Agreement’ capturing all of the points that they have agreed together – or to formally commit to agreement together in some other way, of their mutual choosing – that will then act as a firm foundation and guide for their new positive way of working together from there.

Follow-up support

Once the meeting stage of the mediation process has come to an end, and the Agreement has been signed (or other form of agreement reached), the mediator will continue to be available to the individuals in the short term for any ‘ad hoc’ support as they put their agreed steps newly into practice.  The mediator will also agree a date with the people involved for a review session, a few weeks or months following the formal end to the mediation (as appropriate), to ensure that their new workplace relationship is working as hoped, and to help to safely iron out any final problems that may have arisen, or are still of concern.

Once the new way of working has become successfully established, the mediator’s work is considered complete, and the mediation process fully at an end.

Please do contact us if you have any questions about workplace mediation, or our particular approach, and would like to learn more.

Our ethos and style

Every mediator is different and unique, lending their own personal style to the mediation work that they offer, and therefore to the experience of the individuals taking part.

At Red Earth Consultancy our ethos is one of warm welcome, and professionalism; of compassion, and business-minded clarity.

In line with our style and ethos, our firm hope and intention in offering mediation support to people experiencing workplace distress or difficulty is that, by the time we part ways, each person will consider the experience to have been useful, instructive, and perhaps even enlightening; and that they are now fully equipped to make their own clear choices for how to move forward, positively, in their working life from there.

Client testimonials

For reasons of respectful confidentiality and discretion we choose not to share the names of our employer clients publicly - but would be very pleased to put you in touch privately with organisations with whom we have worked, who can provide testament to our approach, and to the personal and business outcomes that we have helped them to achieve.

Please just contact us and we would be delighted to arrange for an introduction to be made.

About Red Earth Consultancy

If you would like to find out more about us, please click here.

Lilac Hydrangea
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