Preparing for Workplace Mediation

How can I prepare for workplace mediation?

A mediation is a structured conversation facilitated by a professional mediator aiming to resolve a dispute between two or more parties in a workplace. Preparation before a session can assist in the mediation process by helping you organise your thoughts and plan what you would like to say and how you would like to say it.

Some key questions to consider and think about as you prepare include:

  • What is the dispute about for you?
  • What are the key factors (eg. events or incidents) that have happened that you want to talk about?
  • How would you briefly describe them?
  • What was important, upsetting or difficult about them?

How will you describe these factors?

Think about the factors. Make some notes for yourself on the key points that help describe the situation and illustrate what you want to say. This preparation helps gain clarity but can also help you avoid language that may inflame the situation or make it difficult for the other person to listen to your point of view.

What result are you looking for?

If the mediation process goes well, what would you like to see happen?

Consider the possible outcomes and describe the one you would like to reach.

Ask yourself, “what else would work”. There is rarely only one option so consider what you really need and what you could live with.

What alternatives are available to you?

It is worth being well informed to better understand your own position. If you are not able to reach a resolution at mediation, what does that mean for you? What might it mean for the other party?

What do you think the other party sees as important?

Consider the other party/ies and their position. What do you think they will raise and discuss? What might their key concerns be? What do you think they might be looking for as an outcome?

Getting prepared.

The latter part of the mediation process is typically a negotiation based on what you want and what the other person/s wants. Some useful things to do might include:

1. Prepare a brief opening statement.

You can do this mentally or prepare some bullet points as notes How would you summarise your perspective and what you want to talk about in a brief 1-2 minute statement?

2. Consider techniques to manage yourself.

  • How will you manage your reactions and responses if you feel yourself getting upset, tearful, angry or wanting to interrupt?
  • What can you do that will help you to speak calmly and to listen when the other person is speaking?

Deep breathing techniques or even counting to ten can assist, so prepare these in advance and you can also speak to the mediator about this prior to the session.

3. Deal with any logistics.

To reduce anxiety on the day, plan your logistical issues in advance so you do not have any added pressures or distractions within the session. E.g. childcare arrangements, transport or other appointments.

4. Talk to the mediator when you meet with them individually.

The mediator is not there to take sides but is interested in helping all parties get the most out of the process.

Ask them questions about the process and how the session will run so you are as informed and prepared as possible.

If you are interested in gaining more information on Logan Consulting Group’s Mediation Services contact us at admin@loganconsulting.com.au 

These details are also found in the factsheet: Preparing for Workplace Mediation

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