As we all know, the workplace puts us in close contact with co-workers for long hours every day. It is not unusual to have conflict develop at a regular rate. When two or more workers are involved in conflict, productivity goes down, and that can be costly. Morale in the workplace is affected, feelings are hurt, and people dread going to work in the morning.
There are several types of dispute resolution that can be very effective in putting the conflict to rest. Dialogue is a useful tool for many small group disputes. People are asked to suspend their status (boss, supervisor, worker) and discuss what’s on their mind in a structured atmosphere. It is also a helpful tool before disputes arise. Mediation is very effective when two or more are involved in a conflict and require a confidential setting guided by a well-trained and experienced neutral. Many HR professionals suggest that their employees go into a mediation session to resolve their differences. Facilitation is another form of dispute resolution in the workplace. It usually involves a larger group than mediation and confidentiality is decided by the group members. Typically, two neutrals work together during a facilitation.
Don Fobian and Alexis Dixon have been involved in many workplace disputes – as facilitators of dialogue, mediation, and facilitation. Don has taught Dispute Resolution and Negotiation at Chapman University (currently Brandman University) in their HR department for over 13 years.