Oak Conflict Management

Managing conflict behaviours

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Managerial Mediation Means Business

Date Posted: Dec 20, 2016

35% of managers would rather parachute jump for the first time  rather than address a problem with their team at work (CEDR)

In our experience much of the reason for this is that managers feel ill equipped to manage conflict effectively. They lack the skills to address conflict in their teams or they do not have the supports they need from higher management and find themselves ’sandwiched in the middle’, between the grievances of their direct reports and the demands of their bosses. Most managers lack the practical skills and tools they need to help them resolve the problems that arise between people and to avoid it escalating into a more serious situation for them and for the company.

Managerial mediation provides just that. It provides a practical, simply learned tool for managers that enables them to achieve positive outcomes to conflict in their workplace. The basic strategy of managerial mediation is to create the conditions for face-to-face talking between parties in conflict, about the business problem, without interruption, long enough to find a solution.

Easy you might say! And to some extent it is. However we all know when we are in conflict, the thing we find most difficult is to stay engaged with the person we are in conflict with, long enough to find a solution. We are all hardwired to want to argue for our own solution (fight) or walk away and avoid the person (flight).

Managerial mediation provides a clear and simple alternative strategy for managers. It helps them to avoid this disfunctional and negative response to conflict and instead to engage in functional conflict, to solve the business problems that can so frequently derail their business goals. It is a core leadership a competency for every manager.

The benefits of managerial mediation are that it:

  1. enables the manager to address underlying issues between parties that if not addressed will continue to create conflict
  2. leads to more sustainable and creative solutions which are arrived at by the parties themselves rather than imposed by the manager
  3. generates a great sense of ’buy-in’ to the solution by the parties involved
  4. builds efffective communication and trust within the team
  5. Improves the quality of decision making
  6. reduces the cost of dysfunctional conflict by up to 40%
  7. saves time by dealing with the problem early on before it escalates

Managerial mediation was pioneered in the 1980’s in the US by Dan Dana and his Mediation Training Institute International (MTI) now part of the Centre for Conflict Dynamics, Eckerd College, Florida.

See our webpage www.oakconflictdynamics.ie for details of our Managerial Mediation training.

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