The power of mediation is on display when a third party, who is neutral, can intervene and help resolve a conflict.
Thankfully, most conflicts can be resolved by the parties involved. But some situations require a skilled mediator with the ability to bring objectivity and a structured process for resolving the dispute.
Letting a dispute "brew" can be quite damaging to the parties involved and the organization.
I had the pleasure of meeting LaMeka Ivy, a Rule 31 Mediator with the Tennessee Supreme Court. I was intriqued by what she does and how she helps her clients.
So I sat down with her to discover more about what she does and why this type of work is so rewarding for her. Please read on to hear what she had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a listed Rule 31 Mediator with the Tennessee Supreme Court. I handle family, civil, and domestic violence issues. I have over 10 years experience in Human Resources. I graduated from Bethel College now Bethel University with a Bachelors Degree in Organizational Management and from Strayer University with my MBA in Human Resources Management.
Tell us about your firm Ivy Mediation.
Ivy Mediation and Consulting went live one year ago today, January 4, 2016. My firm offers facilitation, consultation, and resolution strategies for workplace issues.
During one of our conversations you described the difference between mediation and negotiation. What are some of those distinctions?
While mediation and negotiation are both used as alternative dispute resolution methods, there are some differences. For example, in negotiation the parties agree to work with each other to resolve a dispute. In mediation, the parties agree to work with a mediator to resolve a dispute. In negotiation, the parties always meet with each other. In mediation, the mediator may meet with both parties jointly or meet individually with one party. In negotiation, the parties have their own interests in the negotiation. In mediation, the mediator is neutral and impartial and does not represent either party's interests. In negotiation, the parties use persuasion to get the other side to agree with them. In mediation, it's not the mediator's role to persuade the parties.
(For a visual representation of how to the two compare, please see below.)
What are some forces that directly affect the need for mediation in the workplace?
Disagreements between management and employees, discrimination, work schedules, work assignments, overtime, unfair treatment, favoritism, or any element that would cause conflict in the workplace.
What is most rewarding about what you do?
Being able to help my clients resolve an issue.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Getting people to do what they say they are going to do.
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Have you had the pleasure of working with LaMeka? If so, please share how she has made a positive impact on you personally and professionally.
There are times when leaders must act as a mediator to de-escalate and resolve conflict between team members. If the situation worsens, it may take the power of mediation to resolve the conflict. If so, consider consulting a skilled mediator.