The type of situation presented in the video is frequent for any workplace. Modern world is a diverse place and many companies face the challenges of working with employees that share different views, belong to different cultures and social groups.
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It is very important that the leaders of such companies apply the skills of conflict mediation in order not to let the interpersonal relationships influence the effectiveness of the business process and the organization’s success.
Mediation is represented by a process of negotiation between the sides of a conflict. The process has to be guided by the third side, which is to remain neutral and cannot be in charge of the decisions (What Is Mediation? 2010). The role of this side is to provide guidance and take the situation under control in order to achieve a civilized conversation (What Is Conflict Mediation? 2009).
It is important that the third party acts neutrally and treats the opinions of both sides with respect. The role of the mediator is to prevent the conflict from getting even more heated. Mediation is needed because it is a well known fact that the sides of the conflict cannot succeed at resolution because it requires objectivity, which is very hard to achieve when a personal topic is argued about and both sides have subjective interest in it or feel unfairly hurt.
In the video Syl has to act as a mediator in a conflict between Bob and Daniel that are arguing about a personal matter. This conflict prevents the managers of one company from collaboration and creates a delay in the project. The company’s business is affected by the interpersonal relationships between the workers and the careers of the workers are under the influence of the subjective argument.
My answers to the questions about the situation between Bob and Daniel were slightly different from the decisions Syl made in order to mediate the conflict. The first question was about Syl’s primary objective, to my mind, it was the avoidance of the conflict, because the meeting was supposed to explore the development of the business project and there was a danger that this discussion might go the wrong way and distract everyone from doing their jobs.
The second question was about Daniel’s perception of the problem. I think it was biased. Obviously, Daniel felt insecure and vulnerable about the subject as his lifestyle was not approved by a colleague. Moreover, there was a chance that the employees would spread the rumor and ruin the confidentiality, which would create a lot of discomfort for Daniel.
Syl’s role was to listen and see the conflict from both points of view and show maximum understanding. Listening is the key in conflict mediation (Foster 2014). The third question was about the actions Syl should have made in order to avoid a heated discussion. To my mind, she should have started the mediation at that stage and addressed the argument right away instead of changing the subject.
I think that the earlier a mediator catches the conflict, the more effective the resolution will be. The last two answers I gave matched Syl’s ideas. I think that her concern about the project was reasonable and the measures she decided to take such as empowering Daniel and creating more comfortable conditions for him were the best solution.
In conclusion, what Syl said after the conversation was very wise; Bob has to learn to show more tolerance and flexibility. Moreover, to my mind, Bob turned the situation into the problem by letting his personal beliefs affect his work and refusing to collaborate with Daniel.
Foster, N. (2014). Good Communication Starts with Listening. Retrieved from http://www.mediate.com/articles/foster2.cfm
What Is Conflict Mediation? (2009). Center for Conflict Resolution. Retrieved from http://brainz.org/what-conflict-mediation/
What Is Mediation? (2010). Brainz. Retrieved from https://ccr.byu.edu/content/what-mediation