Workplace conflict is a concerning issue that may lead to anxiety and anger amongst coworkers. Since not all individuals have the same resilience levels, the same experience may endanger a long-term traumatic reaction within one person, and only mild discomfort to another. The decision of how to handle the resolution to a conflict, will often be the key to a successful mediation. And although mediation and psychotherapy both address the individual’s feelings and emotions, they are far from being synonymous.
“Emotions affect not only the way in which individuals feel, but the way in which they think, and therefore the manner in which they negotiate. Instead of impeding resolution, intense emotions often provide opportunities for the mediator to convey a measure of understanding and respect for the parties. This, in turn, supports the parties’ ability to examine the legal claims and defenses from different perspectives, consider their options and make clear-headed decisions.” They are important to understand because they might distort one’s memory of how things happened, since cognition is easily influenced. It is a mediator’s job to attend to these emotions, and help the coworkers to come to an agreement regarding to conflict in hand. Mediators also need to keep in mind that culture plays an intrinsic part, “Norms specific to a given culture impact how an individual within that culture feels he or she should express emotions”; thus they should always take that into consideration when treating a certain conflict.
A mediator’s main goal is to help individuals feel empowered and make informed decisions not dictated by their mentions. Doing so allows the parties to consider various perspectives, and to take into regard the potential outcomes to their dispute.
This article was originally published on law.com; read the full article here >