There are several ways documented in the literature that helps in resolving cold conflicts in an organization to unlock the promises of team dynamics like better decisions, increased productivity, more innovation and higher levels of engagement. (2012, Kevin Cruse) One approach is through intermediation by an unbiased person, which is a known way in the literature of organizational behavior. Individuals in organizations who have an innate ability to look at any problem in a most dispassionate manner may prove very effective in resolving issues amongst people at a workplace.
The mediator may resort to several techniques in the process of exploring a zone of possible agreement. In this paper, a case study is presented, where a unique combination of intermediation majorly encompassing written communication and energy transformation technique to resolve the conflict amongst a group of individuals who are working in an educational institution. To some, the technique may appear to have a spiritual connotation. I. Introduction: Intermediation has a long history with disagreements in the past being settled by the elders of the village after patient listening to each side. Modern conciliation is little different in the sense that the mediator doesn't suggest the participants what to do. Rather, they help to equilibrate the power in the affiliation. This is to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to have a fair go and their concerns are heard and understood. Generally, mediation is talked about when people want to settle a dispute without going to the court. In this case, a major advantage of mediation is that it is fast. People don't have to wait for months or years for a court judgment.
The problem with a delay in resolving disputes is that they inevitably escalate into conflict as the disharmony becomes entrenched and that risks things escalating up to the point where the possibility of resuming a cooperative relationship becomes a far-fetched dream. A case study of an educational institution is presented wherein a department whose members when worked together very cohesively for years together succeeded in bringing laurels not only to their department but also to the college through their joint intellectual capital but after fifteen years of close cooperation cracks appeared in the fabric of this alliance. Somehow constituents got delineated from each other in such a way that it became too visible and their delineation affected them to the extreme. Normal professional communication almost became impossible. The negativity around the stalwarts amongst whom the differences took birth started affecting the newcomers in the department unknowingly. In this scenario, the most common issues that are experienced by the team are the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, inattention to results and avoidance of accountability (Pat Lencioni, 2002).
The intense negative emotion, sometimes called anxiety, needs to be addressed for resolving a conflict that may or may not manifest itself publicly. Here, the trigger and reason for the anxiety need to be identified and emotions expressed, then people can think more specifically and clearly to be better prepared to unravel the problem. This paper focusses on the conflict resolution approach, through mediation offered by the mediator without being asked by any aggrieved party. In this unique case the observer (also a co-worker) who sensed the negativity amongst the colleagues during a couple of meetings, essentially initiates to end the cold fighting and attempts to rekindle the lost amicable relationship. The initiatives taken are very unique and unconventional. The uniqueness of those initiatives are enough motivation to document it.
As is well known, the course ofmediation is designed to diffuse disputes and de-escalate conflict by switching the focus from cold fighting to problem-solving. Here the character of the mediator also assumes a critical role. They are the people who by virtue of not being involved in an issue are considered to perceive the minor nuances of the issues amongst the professionals, co-workers from an unbiased perspective. However, some facilitation of reconciliations are done in an unconventional way. The case study discussed here and the approach taken is slightly different in the sense that the mediator takes the initiative of reconciliation on its own without a call by aggrieved parties. The facilitator approach can be categorized into the standpoint of 'Mavericks at Work'.
These individuals may be non-conformist but actually look at every issue from a moralistic perspective. They are the people who believe in the goodness of beings in general but also accept 'all rose bushes have thorns.' Given this realization, such people are fully aware that one may experience negativity from people who have been very close at some point in time. This paper details the power of written communication by a maverick who could bridge the gap and repair the torn fabric of alliance. This paper also reinforces a less talked about strategy of conflict resolution in organizations through transferring negative energy on to another matter and subsequently surrendering it into the flames.
The Significance of this case study lies in the fact that it firstly, provides an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolutionof a problem by anyone. That person may not be an expert in the mediation process. Secondly, the case offers a new directionin future research because the rekindle of relationship happens after following not the set procedure in the intermediation process. The process is detaile in Section IV (iii).
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