Mediation provides a safe and confidential space to help you resolve conflict in the workplace.
It is an informal but supported and structured process that aims to help you work out, for yourself, a solution that is satisfactory to all parties.
Mediation can provide an opportunity to sort out problems swiftly without using formal procedures. It can be used at any time during a disagreement or conflict, in a variety of different situations and for a range of issues.
Frequently asked questions
Mediation can provide an opportunity to sort out problems without using formal procedures which can take time. It leaves you in control of what is finally agreed rather than having someone else decide for you and it can be used to resolve disputes between employees regardless of their status at the University.
What is discussed in mediation is usually done so in confidence and will not be shared with others.
The one exception to this is if you or the other person(s) talk about something that is criminal or likely to cause yourself, someone else or the organisation serious harm (this is known as ‘duty of care’).
Should this happen, your meeting will be stopped and Mediators will alert the appropriate person. The information discussed during a mediation cannot be used in other processes - it is done without prejudice as a means of reaching an agreement.
A step-by-step guide
If the case is suitable for mediation there are a number of steps that are followed once a referral has been made.
The mediation service will contact each party and arrange two separate introductory meetings for both parties to meet in private with the mediators. This meeting usually lasts around one hour and gives you the opportunity to explore the issues that are causing the conflict.
The mediators will ask you to discuss how things could be improved and what you would like to achieve from mediation. You will be able to ask any questions about the joint mediation meeting.
The mediation service will hold a time in everyone’s diary should you decide to go ahead with the joint meeting.
A joint meeting, facilitated by the mediators, usually lasts around three hours. This meeting brings you both together to talk through the issues you’ve both highlighted and work on a mutually agreed agenda. The mediators will provide an overview of how the session will work and give both of you some uninterrupted time, which will give you the opportunity to put forward your key issues.
Following this the mediators will facilitate a discussion where you will explore the key points raised. These discussions will take place in a confidential environment with firm ground-rules set by you and the mediators.
The mediators will ensure that both of you are given space and time to talk about your issues and concerns. There will be an opportunity for you both to clarify how you feel and what you would like to see changed. The intention is that you work toward a joint agreement that focuses on the future of your relationship whilst at the University.
At the end of the mediation session, there will be an agreed plan of action. This plan is developed by you and can take many forms, a formal statement with actions and timescales or simply a couple of points you both agree to undertake. This will remain confidential and will not be shared with anyone else without your agreement.
After mediation, the mediation service will contact you to follow up and see how things are progressing. At this point you will be asked if you would like to provide feedback on the mediation process. This feedback will be kept anonymous and confidential, it is intended only for us to improve our service to you.