The Mediation Service is open to all staff and students and is an informal means of resolving conflict between individuals or groups. It provides a platform for a safe, comprehensive discussion between those experiencing conflicts and is facilitated by two trained mediators.
Mediation is an impartial and confidential service. Mediators are trained to be neutral and non-judgemental. They listen to everyone's issues, clarify underlying feelings and encourage a mutual understanding. It is not the role of mediators to advise on solutions. Instead they support individuals to generate their own ideas and agreements to improve their working relationship for the future. You can access mediation at any time, no matter what the issues are, how you're feeling, or who the conflict is with. It may be that you simply wish to talk an issue through - to find out whether mediation can help. You can also consider trying our Dignity and Respect Network in the first instance.
Individuals may contact the service directly or be referred through a line manager or a member of Human Resources staff. All parties involved need to agree on the use of mediation at which point two mediators, unknown to either individual or party, are assigned to the case.
You won't be asked to agree to anything that you don't want to! There are two stages to the process:
Stage 1: The mediators meet each person individually and confidentially to hear their concerns and issues, and talk through with them how mediation can help.
Stage 2: Provided both individuals agree a joint meeting takes place, again facilitated by the same two mediators. This gives each person the opportunity to explain their concerns to the other and for the mediators to facilitate their joint discussion.
The service is informal i.e. outside the University's formal processes and is confidential - we do not keep any named records.
Are you considering trying mediation but are wondering what it is like? The videos shown below have been produced by UK Mediation. They are a specialist mediation training company. They depict a typical mediation, in the video Andy is a mature student who has come into the Local Authority on the graduate entry scheme. Letitia, his colleague, has worked her way up to her current post over the last 15 years. Although they work at the same level, Andy has taken the lead on a report they are supposed to be producing together. Letitia has been working late to get her part of the work completed. Watch the videos to see the situation develop and how mediation is used to resolve the conflict.
Episode 1 | The Spark
Many workplace disputes come to a head with an angry exchange or 'spark' between the parties. Here, Andy & Letitia meet in the tea room, where they discuss their joint report.
Episode 2 | The Manager's Input
Mediation skills aren't just used by mediators! Here, the manager, Jackie, tries to resolve the situation using some key skills.
Episode 3 | Meeting the mediators
Jackie has realised that she can't be impartial this time, and so has suggested the parties contact the mediators. They attend in turn for a private session.
Episode 4 | The joint mediation session begins
The joint mediation session begins with some rule-setting, and then each of them takes some time to say their piece.
Episode 5 | Making an agenda
The mediators get the parties to agree on the key issues
Episode 6 | Negotiating the issues
Once the issues are clear, the mediators encourage a more direct exchange between the two, while carefully managing the conversation.
Episode 7 | Making an agreement
The parties' improved understanding is summarised in writing.
Episode 8 | Andy and Letitia return to the department
The interpersonal problems resolved for now, the two colleagues are able to pick up the report again with the manager's support.