It’s painful when two people or different divisions within an organization are in conflict. Not only does it cause hurt feelings; it affects productivity, increases risk for the entire team and organization, and just generally sucks.
Mediation can help solve that. Mediation is dispute resolution. It relies on the individuals involved to voluntarily solve their own conflicts. My role as a mediator is not to act as judge or jury. Rather, my focus is on creating a safe space where individuals can understand each other, the underlying interests, and issues involved in their situation, and then support them in creating a deal that each one of them supports.
On occasion, the parties recognize that they cannot reach agreement through mediation. They need to pursue other alternatives. And I lead them through a simple process to understand their options, as well.
It’s important to know that during the mediation process, my conversations are completely transparent and confidential. In most states, the courts are not allowed to access my notes (which I destroy after mediation, anyhow), nor put me on the witness stand, if it ever comes to that (and to date, none of my mediations have resulted in legal action).
My role is one of a neutral facilitator. I’m there to support each party. I usually find that when people hear each other, they can craft solutions that they both agree to.
At worst, mediation won’t solve your problem. At best, you’ll feel heard and respected, and find solutions. If you’re curious about mediation, and you’re ready to diminish or end the tension, it may be worth a conversation.