As a manager, you have the opportunity to wear many hats.
You can exercise your skills as a leader. You get to become the coach, the boss and
the facilitator of a harmonious working environment all in one. The secret is to
know when to utilize which skill and how to incorporate them for the best outcome
When you mediate, these skills work to effortlessly mend an employee situation
or perhaps satisfy a disgruntled client/customer. Mediation also assists in coming to
a meaningful resolution with vendors,
As the Manager/Mediator you will:
* Facilitate discussion and most importantly, you are trained and have the capacity stay neutral throughout the session.
* Establish a resolution structure for conflict resolution. A manager needs to have a clear resolution process to follow. With clear communication and the desire to listen to each party, it is easier to establish an agreed upon structure for everyone to buy in to.
* Maintain a commitment to ground rules. This is critical for all types of conversations and mediation is certainly no exception. Typical starting ground rules to call for in mediation include: neutral ground for meeting, This is important so that no one is perceived to have an advantage. Both parties must have something to gain in the resolution.
* Ground rules on behavior, will need to be established before the session begins. Once the commitments are made, the Mediator holds all parties accountable for adhering to them.
* Facilitates discussion that is gentle, open, honest and specific. Non-verbal and verbal language has to be deliberate and geared towards creating this type of environment. Asking good, open-ended questions is key to success.
* Listen carefully and surface different perspectives; restate and clarify issues. These will be skills we practice in our class and you will effectively hone these before the class is over. Mediators need to have excellent facilitation skills and can gain these abilities through facilitating regular meetings of all types. Mediators also must be an effective and a clear communicator. Hearing is as important as listening to what is said.
* Ask for suggestions and work toward a behavioral commitment from all parties. It’s important for a manager to realize that he or she doesn’t always have all the answers for resolution. Both parties, for buy-in and ownership, can develop their own solutions and agreements on behavior. A manager needs to only guide them in this process, and offer suggestions only after asking for permission. R_E_S_P_E_C_T
* Brings in additional resources if needed. Here, a manager needs to be able to recognize and admit when it is time to call in Human Resources or another party to help with resolution. No one has all of the answers or all of the skills.
Becoming an effective Mediator can help every manager to excel in his or her job and create a dynamic, highly functioning departmental team.
Mediation is always a win-win situation for everyone. As I always tell my clients; "in mediation, no one gets to be wrong; we may not agree on everything, but each person has the right to their viewpoint."
Always trust the process for outcomes that you never thought possible.
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