Working with an external trainer, our teams supported a major Utility company with workshop training sessions in Mediation Skills. With litigation and formal processes starting to affect performance and taking up time and resources to resolve, a project was proposed to train volunteer members of staff to act as mediators, to discuss whether issues could be dealt with before reaching the difficult tribunal stage.
Various scenarios were devised for this workshop, ranging from a typical perception of bullying, to religious intolerance and accusations of fraudulently claiming to be sick. During the session, the trainer discussed methods to calmly and fairly conduct initial mediating conversations. Our team played members of staff with opposing views so they could practice techniques, rotating around the room during the session so each small group of participants had a chance to work with a variety of situations and responses.
By the very nature of the need for mediation, the characters portrayed were opinionated and sure of their position, with situations delicately balanced just on the right side of disciplinary to provide the maximum challenge in an authentic setting. The participants appreciated the chance to practice the techniques they had been shown in a safe environment before volunteering to mediate a live situation in the workplace.
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