These contracts, also called Values Based Contracts, represent a new paradigm in writing agreements. Traditional contracts are based on mistrust and written with lawyers and judges in mind. Conscious contracts are written for the people using them. We start with an in depth discussion of the goals and values of the participants to see if their alignment is strong enough for the partnership to work. We identify clear expectations, on both the big picture and day to day level, and develop communication techniques that will work for all involved. We also work together to develop a process for addressing future changes and disagreements. We don’t live in a static world so it is crucial that we take the time up front to talk through how the inevitable changes can be addressed most effectively.
Mediation in the Workplace – A Proactive Solution
Some 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in individual employees’ skill or motivation. Workplace mediation involves bringing in an impartial party to help conflicting participants first identify issues and communication breakdowns, then develop a plan for reconciliation and prevention of future conflicts.
When two or more people are involved there is bound to be a conflict regarding some aspect of their workload or work environment.
“She never follows the procedures and it’s a hassle for my entire department”
“There’s so much tension in the department because those two can’t work together. They can’t be in the same room without being nasty.”
“He doesn’t complete the duties assigned to her during our meetings and it messes up my deadlines”
“He really rubs me the wrong way. I can’t work with him.”
What happens when conflicts befuddle even the best managers and human resource departments? Managers have numerous responsibilities and resolving occasional conflicts is one of them, but being a full time referee shouldn’t be. What starts as a flicker of annoyance can become a raging furnace with the temperature rising quickly.
With a workplace conflict, everyone already knows there’s an elephant in the room so the question isn’t whether you are going to deal with it, it’s whether you are going to deal with it directly or passive aggressively.
The process of mediation provides a safe environment to “name the elephant” and then empowers the participants to develop a new plan to work together -without repeating the conflict – to contribute to the greater goal, whether this is the mission of the company, service to the customer or providing a superior product.