does an outstanding job of incorporating the human element in problem solving. She maintains
and values relationships while striving for solutions.” -- Eric S. Brown, MPH
Chief Executive Officer
American Red Cross
"... with her thoughtful and insightful questions Molly has been able to elicit knowledge from me that I did not even know I had, and assisted me in organizing that knowledge so that I could problem solve."
-- Hospice Manager
of the parties in our
communication/mediation process quickly developed a rapport with her that led to an openness in conversation. I was amazed and pleased."
-- Environmental Organization Board President
to better understand and navigate the emotionally-
laden and often treacherous waters of conflict management."
- George C. Xakellis,
JR, MD, MBA
Sometimes people in conflict situations can benefit from one-on-one coaching.
A coach may use inquiry, reflection, encouragement and discussion to help a client identify his or her goals in a conflict situation and develop strategies to achieve those goals. One common strategy is to work on communication skills. Unlike a counselor or mentor, a coach rarely offers advice. Instead, a coach helps clients to find their own solutions, by asking questions that give them insight into their situations. A coach holds a client accountable, so if a client agrees to a plan to achieve a goal, a coach will help motivate them to complete their plan.
Facilitation is the process of helping group members to do their best work. A facilitator contributes structure and process to interactions so groups are able to function effectively and make high-quality decisions. A facilitator encourages participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility.Some of the things facilitators do to assist a team or group:
- Helping participants arrive prepared to contribute
- Coming prepared with a variety of communication and dialogue tools to employ in difficult moments
- Keeping the group on track to achieve its goals in the time allotted
- Helping the group decide what ground rules it should follow and reminding them when they’re not
- Setting up a safe environment where members feel comfortable contributing ideas
- Guiding the group through processes designed to help them listen to each other and create solutions together
- Recording agreements so all can see and accept the wording
- Surfacing unspoken issues
- Offering opportunities for less outspoken members to contribute
- Ensuring that an action plan is developed
- Evaluating the meeting to assist in continuous improvement
Mediation is a conflict resolution process between two sides of an issue with the help of a neutral, third party (the mediator) who guides the process and assists in reaching a peaceful agreement.
- A mediator provides a safe environment for discussing concerns and differences, creating trust and understanding, and improving communication and problem solving skills.
- Only the participants can make a decision. The mediator has no authority and makes no decisions.
- It’s less expensive and more effective than adversarial approaches (grievance processes, EEO investigations, hiring attorneys, etc).
- Mediation is typically private and confidential.
- The parties in conflict and the nature of the conflict determine the specifics of each mediation process – who participates, how many sessions, what constitutes an acceptable agreement, etc.
- Participation is voluntary.
What are the benefits of mediation?
For the participant:
- Get help talking about a difficult subject
- Satisfactory, tangible outcome
- Opportunity for a fresh start
- Ability to come to work without dread
- Reduced stress
- Increased sense of job security
For the person who requests mediation services:
- Help in solving the problem
- Quicker resolutions
- High agreement compliance rate
- Written agreement to use as a guide in future conversations with employees
- Better working relationship with employees
For the organization:
- Less expensive than traditional process of complaints, grievance, discipline, EEO investigations or legal action
- Improved staff goodwill
- Increased productivity
- Decreased risk of staff turnover
- Development of skills and strategies for future use
Skill building is sometimes called “training.” Skill building is not just about training an individual, however. The learning happens in the context of the group and their actual interactions. Some areas of potential skill building are:
- Handling change and transition
- Giving and receiving feedback effectively
- Listening for understanding
- Managing employee performance
- Working through conflict
- Using problem solving skills
- Understanding communication styles
- Planning and running effective meetings
- Facilitating difficult conversations between one’s employees
- Understanding team stages and development
- Handling strong emotions
No charge for initial consultation
Fees may vary for all-day or multi-day work