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How to Prepare for Workplace Mediation

Saturday, December, 29, 2012


Workplace mediation can be a scary or unsettling process, and one that requires adequate preparation to ensure that it is effective.  When people’s jobs are on the line, they tend to get overly defensive or critical, by-passing reasonable communication for outbursts of emotion.  In many cases, this emotional response is something that is caused by factors in their personal lives that is completely outside of their employment.  In such cases, the only way to put things into the proper perspective is to calmly and rationally communicate.  In other cases, mediation allows co-workers to maintain respect for each other in working through a dispute without the threatening prospect of litigation. 

With the benefits of workplace mediation in mind, here are some steps to take to make sure you are ready to face workplace mediation and to make sure that you are part of a team that reaches a resolution quickly. 

  1. First, be prepared with the right kind of informationThis means that you should find any pertinent documents that pertain to the dispute but leave out the stuff that doesn’t.  Unnecessary and extraneous information not only slows down a mediation procedure—it also makes you look like you are not well prepared and/or are trying to be      difficult.      
  2. Focus on the goal, not your position.  The goal for any mediation procedure, whether it is workplace mediation or not, is a quick resolution of the dispute. When you focus on this intended resolution, rather than how you feel the other person is wrong while you’re right, you’ll be more open-minded in hearing the other side’s perspective and working together to fix the problem. 
  3. Think of ways to make everyone happy (or at least, content) with the resolutionWhat is the other party expecting?  What are you expecting?  How can these      expectations be changed to reach a satisfactory compromise?