Essay on Third-Party Conflict Resolution

Published: 2021/11/26
Number of words: 2181


Conflict resolution strategies determine the nature of a relationship that individuals can have, especially within the work setting. Poor conflict resolution approaches cannot build proper relationships, which impacts the overall performance of a particular organization. When two individuals have a conflict that should be resolved, a third party should come and help as a mediator (Sheppard, 1984). Mediation is a process that follows specific guidelines and steps that third-parties should consider applying in a bid to ensure that the intended purpose has been achieved. The paper explores steps that Samantha Pinder can use to resolve a management crisis that involves Brenda Bennett and Harold Stokes. Harold hired interns to the company without consulting anyone, even though that is the work of the human resources department. The mediation process has different outcomes based on the approach that a third party applies in the resolution process (Moore, 2014). The report examines the happenings in each step that Samantha Pinder can apply and resolve the conflict between the Vice President of Engineering and the Director of Human Resources.

Steps in Mediation

Step 1

The first step in solving the conflict at Levver Corporation is the introduction and explanation of the need for mediation. It is always important to introduce to both parties why they are in the situation and the need to find a solution to the particular issue. The problem that has led to the eruption of a conflict should be determined during the introductory party to void any further confusion from both parties (Merry & Silbey, 1982). In this case, Samantha Pinder should ensure she understands the problem fully before attempting to solve it. Both Harold and Bennett should be allowed to state where their problem lies in the conflict. During the first step of mediation, the third party might be required to calm the involved individuals (Moore, 2014). The executive VP of Finance at Levver Corporation should ensure that Harold and Bennett are calm before the process of mediation starts (Pruitt & Kressel, 1985). Such aspects during a mediation process indicate that the third party is willing and committed to foster a successful resolution. Failure to state problems that have led to the conflict will mislead the whole process of mediation. The process must start by according each party the respect and chance to air their concerns.

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Samantha Pinder as the facilitator and mediator in the process should be guided by set principles that can guarantee fairness in the first step of negotiations. She is responsible for stabilizing the setting from the two parties to negotiate and find a solution to their conflict. Most parties always enter negotiations in a bitter situation that prompts to show anger during the mediation process (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985). A mediator has to stabilize the setting for the negotiations between the two senior officers. For instance, Harold does not respect Bennett’s office as he goes ahead to hire interns, which is work meant Bennett’s office. Equally, Bennett had talked to Harold and told him to wait for about two weeks for the office to officially hire interns (Bush, 1994). Samantha should greet the parties and indicate to them where each should sit. Moreover, Samantha Pinder needs to confirm her neutrality as an important guideline for a successful mediation. Parties t this stage should commit to allowing only one to speak at a time (Moore, 2014). Each of them should oblige to speak to Samantha Pinder directly as a way of handling and managing the mediation process (Pruitt & Kressel, 1985). After the introduction and stabilizing of the base, the mediation process should go to the next step.

Step 2

The second step is important for conflict resolution as it allows each party to identify issues that have led to the conflict. Proper problem identification will help Samantha apply the right strategy in a bid to resolve the issue. During this stage, it is only fair that the positives from each party are emphasized as a way of capturing the attention of each party in the conversation. The two parties that are involved must state categorically what their interest is in the whole matter to avoid misleading the mediator. For instance, Pinder should note that Harold requires the authority to hire interns as the office always fails to employ individuals who deliver (Mayer, 2018). Equally, it is important to note that Harold wants the job to begin immediately and cannot wait as instructed by Bennett. On the other hand, Bennett wants her authority as a Director of Human resources respected. Hiring is the duty of her office, and there is a need for Harold to respect the idea. The nature of disrespect that Harold accords Bennett’s office is indicative of his contemptuous tendencies. Samantha should allow both parties in the conflict to state their problems for her to find facts on the matter.

The mediator, in this case, Sam Pinder, should use communication as a tool of ensuring that both parties state issues that led to an eruption of the conflict. Proper communication strategies will guarantee a successful process where each individual is respected. Application of inappropriate communication means can create a different illusion to either party, which jeopardizes the possibility of finding a solution. Samantha must explain the rationale for an individual who should speak first. The rationale should be clear and fir to help build trust in the person involved in the mediation process. Equally, Samantha should guarantee each of the parties no interruption when they are speaking in due process. In the process, the mediator should take notes from both parties and echo what they have explained as a cause of action. It is important to find out probing issues from both Harold and Bennett in a bid to get a clearer view of the matter. Let each party state their issues and how they would wish to have them resolved. Step 2 of the mediation process employs principles of efficient communication to guarantee each party a chance to air their grievances (Merry & Silbey, 1982). After identification and airing of issues involved, the mediator should allow the process to proceed to step 3.

Step 3

The third step in the mediation process encompasses the generation and evaluation of alternatives for both parties. Sam Pinder needs to weigh all alternatives that are at her disposal before deciding on the best approach to use in ideas generated should be accommodative of each party’s grievances in a bid to arrive at a solution amicably (Bush, 1994). Every possible option must be evaluated thoroughly to ascertain whether it is the right approach or not. Failure to assess the options available might lead to an eruption of a similar case in the near future. As such, Samantha Pinder must weigh options that are available and encourage both parties to embrace each other’s decisions. In the generation of ideas, there is a need to consider the fact that every office has roles that it should play within the Levver Corporation (Bush, 1994). The human resource department of the company should be allowed to execute its mandate as an authority.

The mediator should ensure that he/she helps during the process of negotiation through the stabilization of the setting. (Mayer, 2018)Equally, Pinder as the mediator should restate and give an account of each option that is available for the process. Pinder will have to check the viability of each alternative to each of the parties involved in the conflict. Alternatives that will not work must be struck off upon agreement with each party on the occasion. In situations where the parties fail to agree on a possible alternative, the mediator should ask for a break and resume later after both parties have reminisced on the options available. At this third stage, the mediator should assess whether there is a possibility of the two agreeing. Increased understanding of the alternative available makes it easier to reach an agreement in the process of mediation.

Step 4

The fourth step involves the selection of an alternative depending on several factors and the outcome of the negotiation. Samantha should ensure that Harold and Bennett reach an agreement that can help the company move forward (Bush, 1994). As an executive VP of Levver Corporation, she has a right to clarify to each of the two parties where etiquette has been violated. Equally, both should borrow a leaf on the roles that each of them should perform for the company (Mayer, 2018). In the event, it is easier for the mediator to help the two reach an agreement. In case there is no agreement, Samantha can elevate the matter to a higher office for clarification. In case of a resolution, there is a need for the mediator to reconcile both parties and establish a follow-up meeting (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2011). The meeting should seek to check on the progress the two are making and how well they are performing their duties.

As a guide, Samantha should summarize the terms of the agreement and restate them to both parties for confirmation. In a bid to avoid any other issues cropping up, confirm from both parties whether there is anything left that could be a problem (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2011). Equally, Samantha should be the one to help Harold and Bennett defines their roles in the agreement to avoid a possible conflict. The process of following-up matters on the agreement should be clear, and every party must consent to the same. The time frame taken for the follow-up should be clear enough for both parties in the agreement (Kolb, 1994). Samantha should also insist on both parties that the agreement is meant to better the operations of the company and foster good working relations among the two parties. Samantha should congratulate both parties upon reaching an agreement, which is an indication of reasonability in the process.

Outcomes for both Parties

During the mediation process, there is a need for fairness to promote equality and a motive of goodwill among participants. The procedure should be characterized by attributes that promote reconciliation and conflict resolution. For instance, if Samantha allows Bennett to speak freely and cut Harold short, one would note unfairness in the process (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2011). In the event, Harold can be angered and fail to cooperate throughout the process of mediation. Ethical standards in mediation advocate for fairness and neutrality as a mediator (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985). There should be consistency in the process of mediation regarding behavior and interference to avoid eliciting a feeling of biasness among both parties.

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Participant satisfaction is another possible outcome that is expected from the mediation process. Harold and Bennett should come out of the mediation process satisfied with the proceedings. During the process, the privacy of both participants and information regarding the conflict should be guaranteed. Participants in a negotiation table should be committed to finding a solution that satisfies both of them. Animosity during the process should be discouraged by Samantha as a facilitator in the event (Lewicki & Sheppard, 1985). The degree of injury to each party should be made clear and a solution or a settlement for the same sought. Participation in the conversation includes explaining one’s part of the story and where the problem arises. As such, the mediator should ensure that both parties come out satisfied.

Effectiveness and efficiency should be evident as an outcome after the process of resolution. The procedures and alternatives arrived t must be implementable in a bid to avoid any chance for the agreement collapsing (Mayer, 2018). Equally, Samantha should seal all loopholes for future happenings of the same incident. The performance of the solution should also be assessed to determine the effectiveness of the strategies applied. The process of mediation should help fix the conflict between the two officers within Levver Corporation.


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Cloke, K., & Goldsmith, J. (2011). Resolving conflicts at work: Ten strategies for everyone on the job. John Wiley & Sons.

Kolb, D. M. (1994). When talk works: Profiles of mediators (Vol. 6). Jossey-Bass Inc Pub.

Lewicki, R. J., & Sheppard, B. H. (1985). Choosing how to intervene: Factors affecting the use of process and outcome control in third party dispute resolution. Journal of Organizational Behavior6(1), 49-64.

Mayer, B. (2018). Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions: Negotiation, Mediation, Advocacy, Facilitation, and Restorative Justice.

Merry, S., & Silbey, S. (1982, December). Mediation settlement strategies: Authority and manipulation in alternative dispute resolution. In meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

Moore, C. W. (2014). The mediation process: Practical strategies for resolving conflict. John Wiley & Sons.

Pruitt, D. G., & Kressel, K. (1985). The mediation of social conflict: An introduction. Journal of social issues.

Sheppard, B. (1984). Third party conflict intervention: A procedural framework. Research in organizational behavior.

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