‘We couldn’t have had this conversation without you’ - the benefits of a neutral facilitator
Having an independent third party with the skills to allow difficult and sensitive issues to be aired without major fallout is what makes it work.
In one recent mediation I conducted the parties said that they were initially cynical about the process - they could not imagine a setting where it would be possible to say some of the things that needed to be said. There were highly sensitive issues between them and these had to be addressed to enable them to move on from the conflict and re-construct their working relationship.
‘I found it difficult to believe that the mediator wouldn’t take sides and make judgments, she was absolutely true to her word. She guided us through the process step by step, no shortcuts taken, every detail worked out to the last degree. We couldn’t have had this conversation without her there’.
‘ Her approach and ability to control difficult areas to discuss was remarkable – we could not have had the conversations without her there’.
In this case the relationship had deteriorated badly and both parties were finding it virtually impossible to work together and yet their relationship was crucial to the business. It was clear from the outset that they both highly valued the business and wanted to repair things so that it could continue to be successful. Two half day mediation sessions and a lot of hard work and commitment from the parties resulted in the resolution of a number of areas of difficulty, better communication, a much more functional relationship and happier people – one of the parties said:
‘For the first time in well over a year I can say that I enjoyed work this week and I am cautiously optimistic for the future.’
You don’t have to wait until a business relationship is broken before dealing with it – read about our ‘Having Difficult Conversations’ training https://thebetterwayto.com/blog/74/managing-difficult-conversations
And our ‘Proactive Approach to conflict in your Business’ https://thebetterwayto.com/blog/73/what-are-you-doing-to-ensure-your-organisation-is-conflict-proof