Great mediation is about revelling in the pauses, honouring them and leaning into them in order to move forward and achieve positive outcomes.
It’s easy to forget the value of slowing down, in a world that only seems to be speeding up. And when it comes to resolving conflict in the workplace, hesitation is rarely fatal. “To pause” is not a sign of weakness: rather, it is about reflecting, in order to be purposeful in everything that is said and done thereafter.
Let’s remember what mediation should mean: for Sheridan Resolutions, it is a way forward that is voluntary, confidential, less entrenched than formal processes and with an unerring focus on solutions. It is a flexible process which allows a neutral person to assist parties towards a negotiated agreement. And if part of that flexibility means taking a little extra time in order to get to a better place, then that’s got to be a good thing.
The beauty of mediation is that it is the parties that are in control of the speed of movement towards a solution, the decision to settle and its terms. And because outcomes are agreed and not imposed, the chances are that solutions will stick.
Everyone should come away from a mediation with a new perspective, because they allow themselves time to listen actively, and reflect instead of reacting instantly. If a little extra time is all it takes to achieve this, then pushing the “Pause” button can actually be a step forward.
Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions