The 5 Essential Skills of the Effective Workplace Mediator

A mediator plays an important role in the workplace, one that comes with a great deal of commitment to the peace work needed to resolve workplace disputes.  Businesses within communities seek you out when they have conflicts that have begun to affect their ability to function and the community at large. Continue reading The 5 Essential Skills of the Effective Workplace Mediator

Long Term Effects of Workplace Mediation

It’s an odd situation: Due to the nearly-infinite depictions in films, television shows, and novels, almost everyone in the country is aware and familiar with one form of conflict resolution: The lawsuit.  Everyone knows the basics: The layout of the courtroom, the lawyer-speak, the basic procedure of litigating.  Yet few people are familiar with the other – and in most ways the most effective – forms of conflict resolution available to them. Continue reading Long Term Effects of Workplace Mediation

5 Benefits of Workplace Mediation

In life, we invariably experience conflict.  After all, on a macro scale existence is always in conflict with the world around it, seeking to extract resources and ensure its security against an often-hostile world.  Conflict is in our very nature, and the more we’re brought into proximity with each other the more pronounced it becomes.  Mediation allows us to engage in the practice of peaceful resolution of life’s conflicts.  It provides us a chance to do our peace work. Continue reading 5 Benefits of Workplace Mediation

How to Mediate and Resolve Workplace Conflict

Any place where human beings gather and consort is a fertile ground for conflict.  Unfortunately, it is human nature to perceive slights, to become territorial, and to defend themselves against perceived aggression, resulting in conflicts within the narrow confines of the workplace.  And this can become very disruptive in a very short time if not dealt with.  Workplace conflict can even develop into full-on litigation if the underlying causes of the conflict are not addressed.
Continue reading How to Mediate and Resolve Workplace Conflict

The Myth of Independence

I travel often in my national mediation practice.  Recently, as I was boarding a plane, I noticed another passenger struggling to get her roller board into the overhead bin.  I tried to offer assistance but she insisted that she could do it alone.  After several attempts to hoist the roller board up and into the bin, she allowed me to help her.  I thought, why the reluctance to accept help when it was so obviously needed.

Then I reflected.  There is nothing available to us that has not already been provided that is not the result of another’s labor.  I thought, in order to address my most basic needs, I have to rely upon what others have created. And concomitantly, my special gifts and talents are essential to the wellbeing of others as well.  We are a community of contributors, wholly dependent upon one another.  We don’t have to be strong in all things, at all times.

Beginning with the most basic of our needs and their fulfillment, we are dependent on other people.  From the products I buy from the local grocer that are shipped from faraway places, to the gasoline I need to operate my vehicle; all require the toils and efforts of someone else.

Beyond that, in addition, we are all servants.  And we are servants for a reason.  As servants, we understand that we are in mutually dependent relationships.  We are each other’s present help in every circumstance.  We are each other’s answers.  We are members, one of another.  We are connected beings and not islands in and of ourselves.  And our greatness comes from serving one another.  As servants, we are also called to carry each other’s burdens.  We steady each other when our knees begin to buckle.

As for mediation, as the mediator, I am a present help in aiding people resolve their differences.  As a conflict resolution specialist, I am called in because the parties in dispute recognize that they cannot resolve their issues on their own.  I serve as the outside neutral who assists the parties in dispute exchange, compare and examine realities.  By this, I mean, I assist in the conveyance of positions from one side to the other, jointly and severally, which are then looked at in juxtaposition.  Ultimately, after reflection, the parties have to decide how to respond to the information provided, both legally and viscerally, as communicated in the mediation process.  And, in doing the aforementioned, I help them get their baggage into the overhead bin.

I am sometimes also needed to not only assist the actual parties in dispute, but also to help the representatives of the parties, help their clients understand what is unfolding during the mediation process.  So, whether your role of engagement in mediation is as an advocate or as one who is facing conflict, addressing an issue in need of resolution, there is a seat at the mediation table waiting for you.

Peace begins in mediation and the peace that surpasses all understanding begins in the Spirit.  So come, and feast at the table, and quench your thirst with the living water of reconciliation.

John Scott, Esquire