Maintenance and supervision - Scenario - mediating skills: page 1 of 1

Guide: A skill that any programme manager needs is the ability to act as an effective 'third party' mediator to resolve any conflicts that may have occurred. Let's look at what might have happened had Harry accepted a meeting between himself, Ayesha and his mentee. Are Ayesha's mediation skills up to scratch?

Ayesha: Do you think it would help if I had a chat with you both together?

Harry: Well it might Ayesha. Let's try shall we?

Guide: Let's have a look at what happened at the meeting two days later.

Ayesha: Hi, Harry. Hello Sonia. Thanks for coming. Harry has let me know that you are both having a little difficulty with your partnership. I thought that if we talked it through we might be able to see how to progress things together.

Sonia: Yes, well it has been difficult and it's no one's fault really but I think we both recognise that there is a problem.

Harry: That's true. Sonia has started to miss appointments and quite frankly, has been wasting my time.

Sonia: That's probably because I don't see your input as helping me, Harry, and I have been very busy with inspection.

Harry: Well, we're all busy, Sonia.

Ayesha: OK, I hear that you are both frustrated with the current situation, but not much about why. I understand that you both have grievances. Sonia, why do you not feel helped by your meetings?

Sonia: Well, Harry just seems to push things back at me by asking me what I think. I'd like some concrete input.

Ayesha: Yes, I can see how that might be difficult. Harry, how do you feel about Sonia's observations?

Harry: Well, Sonia might be right, but the idea is that self-reflection is an important process. I feel that everyone has the ability to solve their own problems.

Ayesha: Hmm, yes, I can see your point of view, but how do you think we can progress things?

Harry: Well, if Sonia was willing to give me more of an insight into the particulars of her role and expertise, I'm sure I could offer more concrete suggestions.

Ayesha: What do you think Sonia? Do feel free to disagree.

Sonia: Well, I have been holding back a little because I thought my area of work was too far removed from Harry's. But perhaps I've been too hard on him - I can see the benefit in his approach.

Harry: That's very kind of you to say that Sonia. I'd really appreciate the chance to find out more about your work and, as I do, I'm sure I'll be able to give you more concrete suggestions, should you need them.

Ayesha: That's great. I'll check back with you both in two weeks' time to see how you are getting on. It sounds like you are both going to benefit from the process, which must be a good thing, no?

Guide: That went quite well, but it could just have easily been unproductive.

Click on the knowledge link to find out more about mediation skills and the question link to examine how Ayesha employed her own skills effectively.

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