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Workplace Mediation and Conflict Resolution Skills



This skills-based course covers the new and exciting area of Workplace Mediation and conflict resolution. Workplace mediation is now seen as an essential skill for personnel and human resource professionals and is the fastest growing area of professional development in modern HR practice.

In any workplace we can be guaranteed that we will come across conflict. Up to 30-40% of a typical manager’s time can be spent dealing with conflict. Senior executives report spending up to 20% of their time in activities involving issues such as harassment and dismissal. A survey conducted by Price Waterhouse and Cornell's PERC Institute on Conflict Resolution of over 530 Fortune 1000 corporations stated that 90% of respondents view conflict management as a critical cost-control technique and 88% of respondents reported using mediation in the last three years.

Mediation is generally defined as the intervention in a negotiation or a conflict of an acceptable third party who has limited decision-making power, who assists the involved parties to reach voluntarily a mutually acceptable settlement of the issues in a dispute. In addition to addressing the substantive issues, mediation may also establish, strengthen, or terminate the relationships between parties in a manner that minimizes psychological harm. Essentially, mediation is a dialogue or negotiation with the involvement of a third party.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course the participants will be able to:

  • Understand workplace mediation theory, practice and methods.
  • Apply a model of effective workplace mediation.
  • Interpret cultural differences that affect the mediation process.
  • Develop your skills in core mediation practice suitable for workplace conflict.
  • Effectively deal with blockages in the mediation process.
  • Understand the basics of reaching and formalising mediation agreements.
  • Be aware of one’s own abilities and limitations in conducting workplace mediation sessions.
  • Develop an ethical framework for the practice of workplace mediation.

Targeted Audience:

  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Team Leaders
  • HR Professionals
  • Persons who want to get new skills to improve their career

Course Outlines:

Unit 1: Introduction to Mediation Theory & Practice:

  • Models of mediation
  • The workplace mediation process
  • Case study: Intervention
  • Workplace Mediation Video
  • When mediation works — and when it doesn’t
  • The Mediator’s role
  • How mediation differs from other interventions
  • Limitations of the role
  • What do you bring to the room?
  • Active listening refresher

Unit 2: Understanding Conflict & Negotiation:

  • Introducing conflict theory
  • Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)
  • Conflict Handling Modes
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Elements of Negotiation
  • Introduction to Reframing Techniques
  • Stages of Negotiation
  • The Coleman Raider “Bare-Bones” Model
  • Possible Negotiation Outcomes

Unit 3: Elements of Workplace Mediation:

  • The 7-step ‘Eastburn’ framework for effective workplace mediation
  • Introducing Role play methods
  • Case Study Discussion
  • Caucusing Role Play
  • Mediation Role Play
  • Feedback and discussion on role-plays
  • Impartiality

Unit 4: Effectiveness of Workplace Mediation:

  • Joint or Co-Mediation
  • Mediators at Work
  • Icebergs and elephants
  • Extensive Co-Mediation Role Plays
  • Politics of Discourse
  • Extended role-plays debriefing
  • Blockages – moving disputants forward

Unit 5: Reaching Agreements & Mediation Ethics:

  • Reaching and formalizing agreements
  • Agreements Role Plays
  • Follow-Up
  • Ethical framework for practice
  • Ongoing professional development

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