Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Resolving Workplace Conflicts through Mediation

The San Francisco Chronicle ran an informative and timely piece this Sunday on the benefits of mediation to resolve conflicts in the workplace. This is timely given the difficult economy we are facing and a resulting lack of job security for most of us which might prevent employees from speaking out about conflicts that affect their work.

Here's an excerpt: "So what are employees supposed to do when they have problems with their supervisors but are scared of the potential repercussions of complaining about their bosses and don't want to see an attorney? One answer is mediation, a process that lets individuals resolve their problems with the help of a third-party facilitator. Unlike arbitration ... mediation relies on a wide range of techniques to identify and fix problems. These can include face-to-face dispute resolution sessions, exercises to overcome interpersonal conflicts and even novel techniques to get people behaving in new ways.

"If this sounds too "out there" for the real world, Schear points out that companies such as Coca-Cola have implemented an internal alternative dispute resolution program, and employers such as Home Depot are talking about creating similar programs ... Mediators can provide a way to handle these kinds of disputes fairly."

For the full article click here.

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