Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Managerial Mediation

Conflict between staff members impacts performance. Their ability to resolve differences on their own is the cheapest and most effective way to stop disputes from eroding productivity. That ability to ‘have a Brave Discussion’ can be learned and is effective 80% of the time. Its outcomes are better because solutions get crafted by the disputants themselves, rather than by someone else or through rights-based claims. When people solve their problems, their interests get satisfied, and that generates motivation and sustainability.

For the 20% of clashes that are not getting sorted out by the parties, managers or supervisors need to step in. However, this is not to immediately ‘call the shots’ or impose solutions. It is first to help the parties have that Brave Discussion – to exhaust all opportunities for interest-based resolution.

That is what Managerial Mediation is. It is a specific workplace skill, different from classic Mediation, and easy to learn. It is a toolbox that complements experience developed over decades by Dan Dana, founder of MTI, the global leader in workplace conflict resolution that thousands of managers around the world have learned in keeping with best practice in-house workplace mediation.

As MTI’s Southern African representative and accredited trainer, I have proudly chosen this as the finest training for managers and supervisors that are in tune with the destructive nature of mismanaged conflict. It is a powerful adjunct to our foundation course ‘Managing Conflict for Increased Productivity’ and is undoubtedly a core competency for all team leaders.


Training CoverLettersMM SIGNoff

Mervyn Malamed

PGDip (Dispute Dispute Settlement



  1. To learn when to use Managerial Mediation
  2. To learn how to use Managerial Mediation
  3. To determine when not to use Managerial Mediation


  1. What, When, and Why
  • What is Managerial Mediation
  • When to use Managerial Mediation
  1. How to Perform Managerial Mediation
  • Deciding to mediate
  • Preliminary meetings
  • Planning the context
  • Three-way meetings
  • Follow-up
  1. The Key
  2. Preventive Mediation | Stop conflict before it starts

Learning objectives

  1. Determine when problems can best be solved by Managerial Mediation.
  2. Prepare the best context for a mediation meeting.
  3. Perform the three primary tasks of Managerial Mediation.
  4. Negotiate agreements to prevent recurrence.

Topic outline

  1. Types of conflict: boss-employee, employee-boss, and employee-employee.
  2. When managerial mediation works and when it won’t.
  3. Preliminary meetings with employees; the surprising purpose of getting the facts.
  4. Managing the context; mostly common sense, but vitally important and often overlooked.
  5. The three tasks of the manager-as-mediator made practical and straightforward.
  6. Contracting for agreement: making deals that stick.
  7. Video demonstration: how to mediate as a manager or team leader.
  8. Practice by learners: constructive, guided feedback to build practical skills.


Comments from people that have taken this course.

Giving phrases and tips that mediators can use was most helpful along with the explanation.
Tamae Hishizawe, Manager, Employee Communications, Human Resources, Motorola Electronics

The best thing was that I got ideas on how to control turnover at the workplace!
B.S. Bran, General Manager, Jiffy Lube

The time spent on role-play was most effective – the exchange among participants.
Ceclia Ryborg, Sr. Career Planning Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees

The instructor was highly engaging – style was very comfortable – obviously has fun!
Ken Kuzy, Project Manager, Xerox Conwest, Inc.

I learned a different strategy to manage conflict, entirely a new mindset.
Nancy Gutierrez, US Customs-Supervisory Entry Specialist

Most valuable were the steps to resolve conflict and the role-playing.
Lori Kolip, Manager, Fidelity Investments