What does a Team Mediation involve?
Initially, the mediator will see the team members, in no particular order, and in the first session will simply identify the problems and issues as seen by all team members. It will then be time for the mediator to reflect and produce his own list of issues.
This will be followed by a second round of meetings when the mediator will flesh out the identified issues with all members of the team and begin to float potential solutions.
Further meetings will follow depending on the involvement and seniority of team members with the idea of finally agreeing and presenting a solution to the whole team.
The whole process is based on the confidentiality of the discussions with the mediator and the necessity for the employee to give his consent to the mediator to disclose what has been said. This can, of course, be done on a named basis or, if it makes that employee feel more relaxed, on an anonymous basis.
The mediator will update the senior management periodically, who will have to respect the confidentiality of the process, but they will be involved in the discussions of what has been said and what is being proposed as a solution, and obviously will be involved in and approve any proposed solution
What types of solution are envisaged?
Each case is different but below the details some of the solutions that we have agreed in previous cases and it may be that some of the solutions or a combination of them might be necessary to resolve your team’s problems.
Often we find that by just making people talk about their problems, with a mediator prompting a little "reality testing", it makes people reflect on the situation, take a step back and from then on in the gaze of an independent person they will act more rationally and in the interests of the company which is half the battle.
Our solutions have involved
• Training for the management team, including the art of delegation
• A reallocation of managerial responsibility
• Getting the management team to reflect on how their behaviour must be affecting the staff and promoting new behaviours and responsibilities
• The introduction of new systems and process
• Improved methods of communication to cascade information down throughout the team
• Training for the staff in areas such as marketing, accounting
• An improved appraisal system with a better definition of SMART objectives
• A reallocation of work throughout the team
• Confronting senior management to tell them that their attitude to people is unacceptable, causes staff defection and can no longer be tolerated
• Assisting people to obtain counselling to address the personal issues which are transgressing into their work
• Explaining to well-meaning colleagues that their attempts to interfere in their colleagues personal life are not being well received and to leave them to resolve their own problems
• Sitting people down together to resolve their differences in a constructive manner
• Occasionally having to advise that regrettably someone must leave