Jeanette Bicknell is the owner of Principled Dispute Resolution and Consulting. She provides civil mediation for legal disputes, and helps organizational clients manage conflict, create flourishing workplaces and build effective teams. Jeanette holds an Advanced Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution and a PhD in philosophy. Jeanette combines a naturally calm demeanor, broad business experience, cutting-edge research, and traditional sources of wisdom to help you use mediation to build a more productive organization.
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Workplace Restoration Case Study
Relations between the account services team and the head of production (“Bob”) were at an all-time low. The “drama” was a distraction from business. The manager wanted people to be able to work together collaboratively as a team. She was tired of responding to complaints about Bob and wasn’t sure what to do. And she wanted a quick solution before key staff members left for vacation. So she turned to a mediator.
Conflict in Start-ups
From one perspective, conflict in a start-up should not be different from conflict in any other similarly sized organization. And to be sure, some of the same factors that cause conflict in any organization – whether it is a family business or a partnership or a non-profit – can contribute to conflict in a start-up. Yet start-ups also have some unique challenges, and I’ve seen some rather bad advice targeted to them.
Inflation Alert: The Language of Violent Conflict
Metaphors and similes can be helpful to explain conflict principles to clients. But language inflation can also polarize clients and make it impossible to settle conflicts.
Why Keep Talking
The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Competing Human Rights supported mediation recently, or some kind of facilitated discussion, even if it is clear from the outset that a complaint may have little merit. Why would they endorse a mediated discussion be a good idea even if no one’s rights are violated? Why would discussion be advocated, even when it seems obvious that one party is in right and the other party is in the wrong?
When is it "Too Late" for Mediation?
There may be times when mediation is no longer the best option. In these situations a mediator can help to move parties back to a place where mediation is possible. If consensus is impossible, there might be times when a mediator cans till help them achieve understanding.
Negotiations and Trust
Lack of mutual trust is often a factor by the time parties come to mediation. How can mediators get parties to trust one another? The answer may surprise you: They cannot and should not try.
What Makes for a “Good Job”?
Neutrals can assist their workplace mediation clients by asking if their job might be causing some of their unhappiness. This article discusses the effect workplaces have on a person's happiness. The way to happiness might not be through leisure, family, and loving relationships, knowledge, or spiritual enlightenment. The way to be happy is to have the right job.
Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Problem for Management
This article discusses sexual harassment in the workplace. It gives an example of how NOT to handle allegations of harassment, as well as suggestions for responding to allegations.
The Cost of Workplace Strife
Workplace conflict can be tough to identify, prevent, and manage. This article is an example of why workplace conflict can be incredibly complicated--and costly.
Conflict Resolution and Anger
Anger can make us do and say things that we later regret. It can make a person do and say things that they would never do or say in normal circumstances. A Buddhist saying that sums up the self-destructive character of anger: Holding onto anger is like holding a burning coal with the idea of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
Anger in the Workplace
This is a summary of recent research on organizational responses to deviant anger displays at work. Ignoring an angry outburst was seen as the least effective strategy. Supportive or compassionate responses were sometimes linked to positive organizational change.