Training Zone recently published an article by one of our clients, Mark Clements, who is Regional Head of HR for UK, Ireland, Central & Eastern Europe at Sony Europe title titled Introducing Workplace Mediation at Sony.
Mark trained as a mediator five years ago, and in the article Mark describes how “becoming a workplace mediator was a life-changing experience for me, both on a professional and personal level.”
What is it about attending a workplace mediation course that makes the experience, in so many cases, so profound and transformative? The reasons are numerous, but having trained thousands of accredited workplace mediators, there are 3 main reasons that stand out for me:
- Our inability to deal effectively with conflict at work undermines our enjoyment of and our motivation at work.
The majority of us feel intimidated and threatened by workplace conflict. We therefore don’t have the confidence to have conflict conversations because we view them as difficult and uncomfortable. Instead, we shy away from conflict, and it often festers and grows. Something minor can turn quickly into something serious. The misunderstandings that could have been clarified through a conversation are now massive personality clashes in which people feel victimised and they often seek revenge. The mediation course crystalises the importance of having courageous conversations and how this contributes to our wellbeing at work.
- We don’t reflect enough on how the other person is feeling.
When we find ourselves in a workplace conflict situation, we often see ourselves as victim. Whilst some of us are victims, conflict relationships are often more complex than that. We may be inadvertently contributing to an unhealthy relationship through our behaviour, our unwillingness to listen to the other side, or our inability to think about how the other person is feeling. Empathy is crucial. On the course, we spend time understanding the link between empathy and conflict resolution.
- It is empowering to realise that something positive and creative can come out of a conflict situation.
Our workplace mediation course focuses on conflict not as something negative or destructive, but as something that can, when handled sensitively and informally, quickly clear up misunderstandings, strengthen relationships, and lead to more creative outcomes and better communication. Our clients leave our course feeling empowered to manage conflict in a more constructive way.