Proposal for a Conflict Assessment
The following proposal outlines how a conflict assessment would
be conducted to resolve workplace issues.
Stage One: Pre-Assessment
A meeting will be arranged to meet with all concerned parties involved
in the conflict. Each person will talk with the mediator to describe
his/her perspective of the conflict. This is an opportunity for
people to express their thoughts and emotions about the conflict.
During this stage, people often comment that they feel heard and
understood. Pre-assessment is an important stage in conflict analysis
to determine the viability of the mediation process. Some issues
in conflict are not negotiable. Sometimes the parties in conflict
are asked to fill out a short questionnaire. From this information
the mediator will establish a working agenda.
Parties included in the assessment are:
- the employees
- the supervisor or manager
- any other relevant parties who are pertinent to the resolution
of the issues.
This part of the process may take an hour per person or longer.
Stage Two: Mediation Process
Once all pertinent data has been collected from the pre-assessment,
the mediator will develop a process that best takes into account
the needs and interests of all parties involved. One possible resolution
process may be to arrange a mediation session where all parties
come together to discuss their concerns and listen to each other
with the goal of reaching an agreement that meets individuals' needs.
If this is the direction that is deemed most productive, then an
agenda will be developed from the interests of all parties participating
in the pre-assessment. The mediation will address each one of the
agenda items through open discussion with all participants expressing
their points-of-view as well as listening to one another. In this
part of the process, the role of the mediator will be to keep participants
focused on the agenda issues, manage the emotional climate, and
assist the group to reach agreement.
Participants will discuss the possibilities or consequences if
no agreement is reached.
Stage Three: Resolution
The objective of the discussion will be to look at what agreements
will result. Once the agreements have been decided upon, the participants
will look at the fairness and feasibility of the agreement. Time
will be allotted to discuss what steps are necessary if the agreement
is not upheld. Participants will know what course of action will
then take place. All participants discuss who will receive copies
of the final agreement.
Stages two and three often require a full day each. If all agenda
items are not covered, additional time is arranged. Documentation
of the agreement can take three to four hours depending on the complexity
of the agreement.
If the results from the pre-assessment indicate that the mediation
process is not the best way to resolve the workplace issues, then
the mediator will recommend another appropriate option.
Stage Four: Follow Up
Three to four months after the mediation, there will be a follow-up
meeting scheduled to assess the success of the agreement. If any
adjustments to the agreement are required, then individuals will
have an opportunity to give input to fine-tune the agreement. If
the agreement is working well, then all parties need to be applauded.
This is an important step in the process. It is critical that the
necessary adjustments be made to the agreement to maintain success
for all participants. If changes are not made, the agreement may
fail and time and money may be wasted. People may then return to
old patterns and attitudes and the process will be seen as a failure.
This can be demoralizing for people who have expectations for resolution.
Stage four is usually a half-day session.
Role of the Mediator
If, at any point in the process, it is discovered that any individual
has the intent to cause emotional or physical harm to another person,
the process will be terminated. Having a safe, honest and trustworthy
process is important for all. The mediator will develop working
guidelines with input from the participants to keep the discussions
focused and respectful. The objective of the process is to allow
parties to communicate with one another with the goal of gaining
understanding and resolution of the issues for all parties. The
mediator acts as a neutral party to resolve the issues with the
goal of creating a high functioning team. The process provided by
the mediator will be voluntary for all participants.
The mediator will write up any agreements reached during the mediation
It is recommended that a neutral site be used if a mediation session
is required between all parties.