Mediation offers so much more than a simple alternative to litigation. By thoroughly preparing for and meaningfully participating in mediation, individuals are able to take away life skills that can greatly aid them in various real world experiences.
Take the workplace for example: Whether we like it or not, working with others can sometimes prove to be a challenge. It is nearly impossible to agree with colleagues one hundred percent of the time and thus, often enough, conflicts flare. While we tend to sweep such conflicts under the rug, doing so does not make them disappear. Instead, try these mediation inspired tips. You might find your workplace conflicts beginning to lessen with time.
Tip #1: Don’t Point Fingers
Before entering mediation it is important to realize that you and the other party are coming together in the hopes of resolving a problem. Thus, it is wise not to create another issue by pointing fingers. Enter mediation with a clear mind, free of issuing blame.
Similarly, colleagues work together in the hopes of accomplishing an end goal. While issues may arise, often times, shifting the blame on a colleague, will just inflate the problem. Take a moment to reflect on the issue and perhaps analyze what you could have done better in the situation.
Tip #2: Have Realistic Expectations
When mediation commences, rigid, unrealistic expectations can prove an impediment to conflict resolution. Remaining open minded and flexible is always best. Who knows, the other side may have a resolution concept that better suits you than your own preconceived notion.
In the work place, conflicts often arise over unmet expectations. In this case, asking yourself the following questions can help focus your motivation, communicate your expectations, and resolve your work place issues:
- What expectation of mine is not being met?
- Are my expectations realistic and have they been communicated?
- What goals do my expectations aspire to accomplish?
- Is my behavior in line with my goals?
- Are my colleagues goals in alignment with mine, or have I made incorrect assumptions?
- What are my options in resolving these unmet expectations and what do I choose to do now?
Tip #3: Give What You Expect to Receive
Lastly, mediation is about compromise. Going into mediation expecting to tip the scale entirely in your favor will ultimately land the case in litigation. With that being said, it is important to understand that both parties are hoping for a fair outcome. Both parties have the same goal and thus during the process each party should be kind and respectful to the other.
In the work place employing a demeanor of respect and kindness as well as concern for one’s own responsibility, will take pay dividends in reciprocal cooperation from the other side.
In all, the experiences that mediation provides individuals in the context of formal conflict resolution can be great advantages in resolving daily conflict and potential conflict situations.
By following these tips, you can watch your workplace conflicts slip away.