When would a business need a mediator or a facilitator?
- When the business has an ongoing relationship with the other party, be it a customer, a provider, or a partner in a venture.
- When there is disagreement among the leaders as to which direction the business should take.
- When a group dynamic has turned somewhat toxic.
- When there is a dispute between employees or between an employee and an owner.
- When someone in the business has made a mistake, resulting in potential liability.
- When a business is buying or selling another business.
- Anytime communication has broken down.
I often see businesses begin mediation after litigation has already begun. At that point, you have already expended additional costs in terms of litigation. You have also already narrowed your options. Where before you might have been able to resolve the conflict by correcting an error, now you are being asked to pay money to fix the error.
With a customer, it may be that you are being asked to reimburse the customer who paid someone else to fix the error. By letting it get to the point of litigation, you have also significantly reduced your chances of obtaining work from that customer again, or of having that customer refer potential customers to you in the future.
The same is true for a partner in a joint venture.
Don't wait until the conflict is so great that the only possible option seems to be litigation. Fix the problem when it starts. Get a mediator involved to help with the conflict.
Sometimes, the threat is not litigation, but instead a loss of productivity and a potential break up of the company.
Businesses, small and large, often reach a crisis point where the leaders no longer have the same vision for the business. As the leaders each explore their own agendas, employees are confused and unclear about which path to follow. In the short-term, this results in a loss of productivity. If left unchecked, this can lead to the dissolution of the company.
Bring in a mediator. The mediator can help the leaders to get back on track, which will allow the employees to get back on track. Don't wait until your business is about to break apart. Fix it now.
Businesses ignore to their detriment the impact of people's relationships with their coworkers. Litigation with respect to workplace bullying is on the increase. It is not enough to say that someone does the job well, if that someone is also engaged in activity in the workplace which could lead to litigation in the long run.
Call a mediator. Let the parties have a confidential discussion about what is happening. Consider conflict coaching for someone who is bullying others.
Does your business have some areas of conflict that could use some tweaking? Call Meredith today.