The Mediation Center of Colorado
Larry Dragon
Services > Workplace Mediation
Workplace Mediation
Mediation is an effective and economical method to deal with conflict in the workplace. When people, groups, or organizations are unable to work out problems directly, more and more they are turning to a professional, outside mediator to work with the parties involved to help them to find peaceful solutions.

Some of the benefits of using mediation in workplace disputes are:

* Improved relationships.

* High success rate in resolving disputes.

* Reduction of future disputes and prevention of escalating conflicts and litigation.

* Enhancement of communication and conflict management skills.

* Identification of areas that need improvement in the team, group, or organization.

Mediation is even found to be helpful in highly charged types of disputes like sexual harassment and discrimination cases. Organizations such as the United States Postal Service offer mediation as an option in reaching peaceful resolutions in these types of situations.

Group Facilitation
With over 25 years of experience, The Mediation Center provides effective small and large group facilitation. A facilitator is a manager of a group within an organization--an important and diversified role. Not only do facilitators lead work teams in solving complex business problems, but in the public sector, they help resolve problems that may have rendered communities inoperative. They also manage interpersonal disputes to improve working relationships, and help build consensus on contentious social and political issues.

The facilitator is there to ensure a productive group process whether this is brainstorming a new idea or discussing the latest employee appraisals. The role of the facilitator is to ensure that the group works as a constructive and cohesive unit. This task has three parts:

Leadership FOCUS To provide a focus for the group when the leader fails to fulfil their role. STIMULATE To encourage constructive debate between group members.

SUPPORT To bring out information from introvertted members of the group and to allow new ideas to be submitted.

PARTICIPATE When the group is interacting poorly or in the wrong direction the facilitator must be willing to promote new discussion.

TEAM BUILDING To form a cohesive, interactive and productive team.

Referee REGULATION To maintain order of the group discussion, discouraging participants from talking at the same time, or dominating the floor. PROTECT MEMBERS To ensure that all contributions to the discussion are treated equally and that no-one is rebuffed for their input.

DEAL WITH PROBLEMS To control problem people within the group allowing everyone to participate freely.

TIMEKEEPER To adhere to the meeting timetable thus ensuring completion of the agenda.

Neutral PRAGMATIC To take a detached look at the discussion viewing each point on its merits. ENCOURAGE FEEDBACK To promote discussion of each point raised, by all members of the group.

THE FACILITATOR must be a neutral to the discussion, taking a pragmatic view of all points raised. This frees the facilitator to concentrate on the group rather then the content of the discussion and hence they can ask pertinent and stimulating questions.

The facilitator will help all participants focus on the tasks at hand. The facilitator, by encouraging a collaborative effort where all group members exchange information, encourage an environment where people are much more likely to help implement solutions rather than attack them.

With a skilled facilitator's guidance, the result can be an efficient and productive meeting, enhancing a group's cohesiveness and satisfaction.

Conflict Management Consultation
The Mediation Center is used as a consultant by individuals, groups, teams, or organizations when strategic help is needed in dealing with conflict or planning for change. To help them manage change, manage conflict, and improve decision making, some areas of consultation include:

* Developing organizational policies and procedures that limit the occurrence of problems before they arise.

* Providing informal processes for individual and group problem solving of issues and conflicts that do arise.

* Providing communication and conflict resolution training for staff.

* Developing formal dispute resolution procedures that are only used after attempts to solve the problem at a more direct and informal level have not been successful.

* Working with staff to help in overcoming resistance to change and build support for the new procedures.

Management Coaching
Coaching is a developmental process for executives, managers, and key employees. All of us, whether a department head, CEO, or line manager, strive to be the best we can be and improve our skills. Expectation on managers are high; sometimes managers feel alone; sometimes they are under a great deal of pressure. There may be times when they could benefit greatly by having their own individual coach to provide them with one-on-one support and training.

As with professional athletes, the manager can utilize the coach for a one time session, a weekly meeting, or for a more extended period in a critical situation.

Designed to meet your specific needs, we begin with a pre- program assessment - then work one-on-one or in small groups to develop:

* An action plan with specific areas for improvement.

* Skill strategies for improved performance.

* Support and guidance for positive change>

* Ongoing improvement measurements

Our mutual goal is to improve performance through a process of individualized assessment, support, clarification and training.

The Mediation Center provides coaching to any level of management or leadership. This can be for general professional development or for critical situations. The Mediation Center brings real-life management experience and training to its coaching with managers.

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