Archive for Mediation & Conflict Resolution

CMC launches sub-group for Wales

We’re really excited to be supporting a Civil Mediation Council (CMC) event this week aimed at promoting workplace mediation and alternative approaches in Wales. The CMC will launch its Wales sub-group at the event in Cardiff. At the launch, the CMC will be explaining the rationale for setting up a Welsh group, sharing our aims and objectives and inviting discussion on how this may work in practice.

The CMC’s vision is to help create an environment where workplace mediation is increasingly the norm rather than the exception. It is looking for people who would be interested in joining and want to represent a wide range of interests, including both private and public sector employers, stakeholders and mediators. Better still, both the CIPD and ACAS are fully committed to supporting this initiative. If you are interested in attending or being involved please contact SarahJ@resolution-at-work.co.uk.

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Resolving Conflict: Putting Mediation First

At Sheridan Resolutions we were delighted to support recently the Civil Mediation Council event “Resolving Conflict: Putting Mediation First”.

As regular readers of the Sheridan Weekly and our blogs will know, disputes in the business workplace cost billions of pounds. And indirect costs to individuals can include mental health challenges and the disruption of previously settled work and life patterns. The CMC event has so many takeaways and here, in brief, are mine …

  1. Deal with workplace problems early
  2. Foster dignity and respect in the workplace
  3. Equip managers to have soft skills to deal with bullying harassment complaints
  4. Be mindful of power games – and how these can impact equality
  5. Keep processes flexible and do not let these become more important than the outcome
  6. Attempt informal resolution first
  7. Identify unacceptable behaviours at work
  8. Ensure and respect confidentiality
  9. Focus on the behaviour, not the individual

Awareness is growing that the mediation of disputes can provide solutions which meet the needs of all parties, cost much less than litigation, are dealt with more speedily, avoid disruption to business. And at least as importantly, it can remove the debilitating effects of conflict and restore professional and personal relationships.

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Lloyd’s Learning Week: Sheridan Resolutions Associates shine …

It was so great for Sheridan Resolutions to be invited to run “Nip Conflict in the Bud and Strengthen Workplace Relationships” at Lloyd’s Learning Week. Lloyd’s Learning Week, for those who don’t know, is in its third year and combines the best of strengths in technical training and professional skills development to reach the whole of the Lloyd’s market. Thousands attended over the week in what has grown into a hugely successful event!

Our thanks to our wonderful Sheridan Resolutions associates Tracey Fox and Martin Tiplady for delivering a great session – see also our blog on the subject. Martin has held HR Director roles in both private and public sectors, most recently as HRD of the Metropolitan Police Service. Tracey combines her background in business psychology and over 15 years in the field of dispute resolution and executive coaching to help people find solutions to workplace conflict. We are so proud to have them working with us.

Martin and Tracey showed that facing conflict at work can feel incredibly challenging and stressful to most employees and managers and dealing with it well is no less of a challenge. An ability to nip staff disputes in the bud, when practised effectively, can become a major skill in both work and life. It is not only key for limiting damage, but it can actually strengthen workplace relationships.

Keep looking at our blogsLinkedIn and twitter for more details and at our website – www.sheridanresolutions.com. And don’t forget to Sign up Here  for the Sheridan Weekly. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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How to pre-empt and deal effectively with conflict in the workplace

Facing conflict at work can feel incredibly challenging and stressful to most employees and managers and dealing with it well is no less of a challenge. An ability to nip staff disputes in the bud, when practised effectively, can become a major skill in both work and life. It is not only key for limiting damage, but it can actually strengthen workplace relationships.

It is so important for leaders and managers to pre-empt or deal effectively with any type of conflict situation in the workplace. These skills will help you be able to:

  • Diagnose the source of the conflict and be clear on how to engage with it
  • Recognise different approaches to engage with conflicts and identify those which are most effective to use
  • Use trusted frameworks to navigate through difficult conversations.

Conflict coaching is a set of skills and strategies used to support peoples’ ability to engage in, manage, or resolve conflict.  During the process, the conflict coach works with a coachee experiencing conflict with another person.  Conflict coaching enables the coachee to openly talk about the conflict with a neutral third party (the conflict coach), consider options for managing the conflict, and design an approach to discuss the conflict with the other person.

Conflict coaches can serve as a confidential listener, to help the coachee to see the situation from all perspectives, support the coachee in considering options, and help the coachee to come up with a plan of action to deal with the conflict.

Keep looking at our blogsLinkedIn and twitter for more details or visit sheridanresolutions.com to find out more. And don’t forget to Sign up Here  for the Sheridan Weekly. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

At Sheridan Resolutions, we’re really excited about the next event in our 2019 Breakfast Summit Series aimed at HR thought leaders and senior business decision-makers. This event, later this month, will deal with “Conflict Resolution in the Workplace”.

At this breakfast, we will lead an interactive discussion on the resolution of day-to-day and high-profile confrontations at work. We plan to stimulate a debate with you on which conflict resolution approaches can be put to use and when for maximum impact.

Facing conflict at work can feel incredibly challenging and stressful to most employees and managers, and dealing with it well is no less of a challenge. More than ever, inappropriate behaviours and bullying and harassment allegations are at the top of the people agenda. We share alternative options for addressing these swiftly and discreetly in the least way damaging to the business and your staff so you leave the breakfast with a clear set of practical ideas to take forward.

A Thought Leadership Paper will follow to help you reinforce key learnings for the benefit of you and your business which will reflect the input from attendees at the session.

Keep looking at our blogsLinkedIn and twitter for more details. And don’t forget to Sign up Here  for the Sheridan Weekly. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions

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The case for strong professional relationships

Companies that enjoy a high-performance workplace, we have found at Sheridan Resolutions, have something in common: a culture that encourages inclusion, collaboration and teamwork.

Recent articles in the Sheridan Weekly and iremind me that it’s difficult to foster this culture unless professional relationships are strong and respectful, with a pro-active approach to mediation whenever conflict arises. Disagreements between employees can seem like a little local difficulty, but unless tackled quickly, can spread to have a negative impact on corporate culture and, ultimately, the employer brand. To have even two employees in conflict can become problematic for an entire organisation.

If your organisation has the aspiration to be the best, or at least as good as it can be, then remember this: what’s important is not just bringing in mediation to tackle conflict when the damage is already done. It is in fostering a culture to strengthen professional and respectful relationships to minimise conflict – and acting quickly to settle a dispute if it arises.

Don’t forget to Sign up Here  for the Sheridan Weekly. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions

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Mediation enters a new age

Our thanks to M&G Investments for their recent support for the CMC (Civil Mediation Council) for our “Bullying and Sexual Harassment: Can Mediation help?” conference as we built on the success of the CMC’s Workplace and Employment group’s “Save Time, Save Money, Save Stress” mediation conferences last year.

Much has been written recently about bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace and what can be done to address it and provide both deterrence and remedy. We see examples in the press of great harm done to both accuser and accused and their employer in cases where the actual rights and wrongs may be much more complicated and less clear-cut than the headlines suggest. Our event showed how often to use mediation as an integrated part of conflict resolution in the best interests of all parties even in these most sensitive and emotionally-charged cases.

The speakers with different perspectives on this high-profile area included Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD; Gareth Jones, M&G Investments; Sam Smethers, The Fawcett Society; Jane Farrell, EW Group; Henicka Uddin, Acas; Hannah Coulson, Calastone; and David Whincup of Squire Patton Boggs. Our thanks to them all for joining us on this journey to provide you with the arguments and strategies in favour of the adoption of mediation in your workplace even where popular opinion around bullying and harassment may suggest less flexibility, and with the confidence to anticipate and address any resistance you may encounter.

Our speakers shared their hands-on experience of applying mediation and similar dispute resolution schemes to bullying and harassment complaints both on a stand-alone basis and as part of formal internal processes. We also have forthcoming events planned in 2018 in Cardiff and Newcastle upon Tyne, so watch this space.

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“Sorry” needn’t be the hardest word

The power of saying “sorry” is so often understated. An apology is clearly more familiar in some forms of mediation than others. In all circumstances, however, its importance lies in that it represents one of the core reparative opportunities in damaged relations. An apology is not an easy thing to do. While it presents an opportunity, clearly many have difficulty in seizing it – and third parties can have an important role to play here.

It’s so important to understand the role that emotions, including sorrow, play in the workplace. When employees turn to a mediator to help resolve their legal disputes, they bring not only evidence but also emotions with them. The emotion involved in bringing oneself to say “sorry” can be the salvation of workplace challenges.

There’s nothing wrong with emotions – we should be encouraged to be how we feel within work, as well as outside. But what do you do when emotions boil over into something intolerable. How would you handle sensitive and serious complaints? We have another CMC conference on June 28th to help you explore the options when bullying and harassment becomes a concern.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions

 

 

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Mediation: a cultural shift is underway

At the recent Civil Mediation Council (CMC) annual conference, we tried something very different. The conference was opened up to all fields of mediation in the UK, all mediators, interested organisations, as well as the government and the public.

Across all fields of mediation, a strong common theme emerged – that there is a big cultural shift taking place around the use of mediation. For so long, the culture of litigation has been deeply ingrained in work, as in society. Now, however, something has clearly changed. It was so heartening to hear stories across all walks of life – the NHS, as the UK’s largest employer, was one of several examples – where resolution of disputes through mediation is increasingly sanctioned as a first resort, an obvious first step and an instinctive reflex.

Of course, mediation still needs to be used selectively and appropriately in some cases …Acas recently revealed that bullying and harassment in the workplace is costing employers up to £18bn per year and impacts on workplace morale and productivity among nearly 75% of workers.  How would you handle sensitive complaints of this nature? We have another CMC conference on June 28th to help you explore the options when bullying and harassment becomes a concern.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions

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How workplace conflict affects business reputation

How a business handles a workplace conflict makes a big difference to employees. There is an important lesson here – that even an adversarial situation can, when handled well, become a reputational opportunity.

It may not feel this way initially to those asked to find a way to mediate staff disputes – working to provide a solution that leaves everyone happy is difficult. They need to find creative ways to resolve employee conflicts that are beneficial not only to the workers involved but also to their organisation. Allowing both sides to be heard, remaining transparent in decisions and working to find solutions that make both parties happy can make it easier to handle other problems with confidence as they arise at your company. And it raises the sights and confidence of those not directly involved in a dispute. Mediation is not just about limiting damage – it is about strengthening workplace relationships.

 

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