Employment Mediation Can Help Stop Bullying in the Workplace | LabourBlawg

Employment Mediation Can Help Stop Bullying in the Workplace

by PaulReflect on November 6, 2013

Depending on who is doing the speaking, there is growing discussion currently on whether employment mediation could be useful in cases of workplace bullying. For every practitioner or HR professional who suggests that intervention by means of mediation could be useful there is another who suggests otherwise. The key then is to explore why the two viewpoints collide:

Mediation Doesn’t Help

One of the arguments most frequently used as evidence as to why mediation is not a helpful solution is to use the example of domestic abuse. In cases of abuse or alleged abuse then family mediation is often not allowed on the same terms.

However, when using this simile in the case of workplace mediation it does tend to suggest that a person showing bullying behaviour should simply be “given up on” rather than worked with. The argument by mediators against this way of thinking is that everyone has a reason for their behaviour and it is better to give the person in question a chance rather than giving up on them altogether.

The second argument against mediation in the course of dealing with bullying behaviour is that there are some people who cannot change the way that they are because they are incapable of doing so. This may be due to a personality disorder or because of their own personal history. However, this is also – according to many people – a very dim and closed minded way of viewing the world and it is surely better to give each individual a chance rather than compartmentalising any person who shows unreasonable behaviour with a few who will never show behaviour that is otherwise.

Mediation can help

For every person who believes that services such as Lamport Bassitt employment mediation cannot be helpful, there are many who believe in the system, and they do so for a number of reasons.

Challenging the idea that bullies cannot change, they suggest that everyone has the right and ability to address their behaviour with the right intervention and this can be given in the form of employment mediation in Southampton.

There is also the idea that rather than “bad people” there are “bad situations” where the behaviour of a person who wouldn’t necessarily be classed as a bully may be influenced negatively by others, by the environment, by the pressure of their job and other circumstances. In other words, the behaviour of the person might be bad but it is the result of circumstances which can be addressed and changed and in time, the behaviour can change.

A further argument when dealing with workplace conflicts and bullying is that behaviour which is classed or termed by one person as “bullying” might be classed or termed by another as “banter”. That is of course no reason to ignore or make excuses for the behaviour but mediation could help to draw to the attention of the bully firstly that the behaviour is unacceptable and is not being met with the spirit in which it is intended but also help the “victim” to realise the lack of actual malice in the actions.

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