- Early! Ideally mediation should be used early at informal stage, or even before a conflict has arrived at procedural stage. If your managers know what mediation is, and when to suggest it – or even better have mediation skills of their own -you’re far far more likely to find mediation is ‘nipping things in the bud’.
- At the point of complaint. Don’t discount mediation when a complaint has been raised formally. People may prefer an informal approach if their concerns are largely about behaviour, perception and misunderstanding. Remember most people don’t want to complain formally, even though some do. Offer mediation to everyone, first.
- After a formal process. Mediation can be used to reestablish working relationships once formal process has been exhausted. The mediation of course doesn’t focus on revisiting the issues or the investigation. It focusses on rebuilding working relationships for the future.
Our advice is always suggest mediation: explain its benefits; and encourage the party to talk to CMP without obligation, to see if mediation is the right option for them!