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Workshop A: Paul Andrew, Sunderland University


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Presentation by Paul Andrew, Equality & Diversity Manager, Sunderland University at CMP's 'Aiming for excellence' conference, 5 December 2008, London.

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Workshop A: Paul Andrew, Sunderland University

  1. 1. Using Mediation within good Equality and Diversity and HR practice <ul><li>Paul Andrew, University of Sunderland. </li></ul>
  2. 2. The story so far <ul><li>Began with small team of Mediators and a pilot in two areas of the University </li></ul><ul><li>Extended team and remit to include all staff. Also including student areas. </li></ul><ul><li>28 cases over 4 years </li></ul><ul><li>Has successfully resolved many sensitive situations that otherwise may have worsened or gone into other procedures </li></ul>
  3. 3. How we use Mediation <ul><li>As an optional route to achieve successful working relationships </li></ul><ul><li>A confidential process, separate to others </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a suite of options ranging from Grievance to Harassment </li></ul><ul><li>Less adversarial, greater emphasis on dialogue and co-operation </li></ul><ul><li>In line with our equality and diversity principles of encouraging mutual respect </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Mediation? <ul><li>Mediation is a process by which an impartial third party helps people in a dispute work out a means of achieving a better working relationship </li></ul>
  5. 5. Or, to put it another way…. <ul><li>Mediators: </li></ul><ul><li>“ help turn a two-way fight to the death into a three-way search for a solution” </li></ul><ul><li> Edward de Bono </li></ul>
  6. 6. Resolving conflict 3 ingredients to all conflicts Interaction/Behaviour Contents Beliefs and values about justice and fairness
  7. 7. <ul><li>Mediation is: </li></ul><ul><li>An extremely effective problem-solving tool </li></ul><ul><li>Mediation can: </li></ul><ul><li>Transform the way people communicate, interact and manage conflict </li></ul>What Mediation can achieve
  8. 8. Mediators help people to: <ul><li>Talk to each other! </li></ul><ul><li>Express their concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the issues </li></ul><ul><li>Identify their own interests </li></ul><ul><li>Identify common interests </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise and respect differences </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to one another’s concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Work out ways that both interests can be met </li></ul><ul><li>Find a way practical forward that meets needs </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Mediation Stages <ul><li>1 & 2 First Contact with the Parties separately </li></ul><ul><li>3 Planning the continuing process </li></ul><ul><li>4 The joint meeting - setting the scene, hearing issues </li></ul><ul><li>5 Exploring the issues and clarifying </li></ul><ul><li>6 Building agreement and relationships </li></ul><ul><li>7 Closure </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cases (anonymised)
  11. 11. The one-issue mediation <ul><li>“ Close friend” Joanne had humiliated Susan at a training session </li></ul><ul><li>Complete breakdown of trust and personal relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Tense situation affecting whole team </li></ul><ul><li>Joanne apologised in the joint meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Both agreed to greater levels of respect with each other and in front of colleagues </li></ul>
  12. 12. 20 years of hurt….. <ul><li>Bob and Carol’s working relationship could be summed up as one of mutual distrust and antipathy </li></ul><ul><li>Only ever communicated by email…… </li></ul><ul><li>Were required to jointly deliver an academic project </li></ul><ul><li>Mediation outcome involved protocols around joint working and an agreed third party mentor to stay on track </li></ul>
  13. 13. The “unsuccessful” mediation <ul><li>Philip and Wenyan had problems around their work styles and interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Mediation attempted to set ground rules concerning their working relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Wenyan and Philip signed up, but Philip did not engage in the process </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement quickly fell apart </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of attitudinal issues with Philip </li></ul>
  14. 14. The group mediation <ul><li>Two factions in one large team </li></ul><ul><li>The two senior managers went through an initial mediation process </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes shared with all colleagues in facilitated meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Team members built on the commitment of their managers and signed up to agreed protocols (work-related methods and values) </li></ul>
  15. 15. The staff / students mediation <ul><li>Students smoking outside building </li></ul><ul><li>Fiery Academic “lost it” with them </li></ul><ul><li>All parties had been going through separate processes </li></ul><ul><li>Mediation brought them together in a confidential environment </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual acknowledgement, apology, handshakes and withdrawal of grievances </li></ul>
  16. 16. Mediation is not…. <ul><li>A replacement for harassment processes </li></ul><ul><li>Arbitration, negotiation or investigation </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended where there is a major power imbalance </li></ul><ul><li>Suitable if not agreed to by participants </li></ul>
  17. 17. Mediation is…. <ul><li>Evidence that efforts have been made by individuals and the institution to resolve issues, whether successful or not </li></ul><ul><li>Non judgmental </li></ul><ul><li>A process that provides support and balance to participants </li></ul><ul><li>A route towards delivering successful working relationships. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Any Questions? <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>0191-5152436 </li></ul>