Empower teams through group mediation
Disturbed group dynamics
Sometimes, everything falls into place in a team, group or board and they achieve exceptional performance. In other cases, however, team members do not manage to work well together and they regularly go at each other’s throats. Characters may clash, not all members accept a chairman, coalitions have different views on things or pursue other interests. Dynamics within teams are often hard to fathom and even more difficult to organize properly so that activities run smoothly. This is even more the case when personal friendships or family relationships play a role in addition to working relationships. If teams fail to solve mutual problems themselves or to restore disturbed relationships with other teams, group mediation can help them to make progress
Conflicts within and between teams are perhaps the most challenging to deal with. Often there are multiple parties involved with divergent interests and other views on what is going on and the effectiveness of solutions. Moreover, they are, visibly and invisibly, intertwined in numerous ways and have supporters and advisers who make, solicited and unsolicited, inquiries. Teams that do not function well also impact those they work with inside and outside their organisation and almost always have an adverse effect on the quality of their performance. For all these and other disadvantageous reasons, organisations have great interests in resolving group conflicts quickly and adequately
Particularities team mediation
The deviating features and challenges of team disputes require a special approach to mediation. It already starts with the preparation, which is much more extensive than with other kinds of conflicts and forms of mediation. Through conversations, in advance, with possibly involved parties, a mediator (sometimes together with a co-mediator if the conflict is quite extensive) develops a good picture of the substantive dimensions of the conflict and the parties, interests and perspectives that play a role in this. It forms the basis for designing, in co-creation with key parties, a structured mediation process with different working methods, possibly divided over plenary meetings and working in subgroups. Attention to communicating with all stakeholders and informing constituencies about the progress of the mediation process and the results achieved is essential. It emphatically also applies to the preparation for the period after the mediation process in order to ensure that old conflicts do not reappear. Sometimes the mediator comes by during that period to share and discuss experiences with parties.
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Information about mediation & approach