4. Where to get opportunities
One of the results of Systemic Theory is that there is a complex
system of options. Become familiar with the benefits of each of
these options. Volunteer, intern, or even get a part-time job in
these areas when possible: Ombuds, coaching, court assistant,
culture and climate assessor, consultant, facilitator, grievance
reporter/researcher, and employee relations.
5. “Why would I hire a workplace mediator?”
At the October, 2018 Association for Conflict Resolution confer-
ence, a panel tackled the question of what will be looked for in a
workplace mediator over the next 20 years. This list could trans-
late well into a) skills you can develop now and b) deliverables you
offer to a group:
• Identify what’s happening in a protracted departmental
or employee conflict
• Name existing trends, suggest options to address those
• Meet with stakeholders (faculty, HR) to acknowledge
• Identify root issue, diagnose and address with man-
• Develop action items and check-ins to promote account-
ability for individual and organization representative
• Offer skills training to prevent conflict
• Develop skills assessments to put the right employee in
the right job and identify who could be trained as a staff
• Provide mediation agreement follow-ups, schedule
check-ins at 4 weeks and 8 weeks
• Able to work with a “hotel” culture (people always on-
the-move and disconnected from the main company
hub), mobile/ODR options, familiarize yourself with
Zoom or other online networking platforms
• Work with individuals who do not enjoy working in
• Create a checklist for employee involvement
• Be able to provide multiple ADR options yourself, or find
other people you can refer employees to
Dispute resolution options are becoming increasingly complex.
Employees are becoming more empowered and work is becoming more isolated. To help employees deal with the resulting
disputes, prepare yourself by volunteering at many different
types of organizations, and familiarizing yourself with technologies to help employees connect. Develop your own marketing
package (facilitation template, training package, coaching goals,
meeting guidelines, communication standards, sample mediated
agreement, employee handbook, and effective communication
policies) and place excerpts from it on your website or send to
prospective employers. To be effective in a complex and empowered workforce, prepare by developing an increasing set of skills
and empowering your clients with communication, clarification,
and group skills.
i Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management, https://www.mindtools.
com/pages/article/new TMM_Taylor.htm, Accessed on October 4,
ii Reading the Hawthorne Studies, https://courses.lumenlearning.
att/, Accessed on October 3, 2018.
iii Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_
Labor_Standards_Act_of_1938, Accessed on October 28, 2018.
iv Max Weber’s Idealized Bureaucracy, http://www.yourarticlelibrary.
tures/41035, Accessed on October 4, 2018.
v Summary of the Major Laws of the Department of Labor, https://
www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/majorlaws, Accessed on October
vi Occupational Safety and Health Act, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
on October 4, 2018.
vii Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, https://
Act_of_1974, Accessed on October 3, 2018.
viii Whistleblower Protection Act, https://searchcompliance.techtarget.
com/definition/Whistleblower-Protection-Act, Accessed on October
ix Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Americans_with_Disabilities_Act_of_1990, Accessed on October
x Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Family_and_Medical_Leave_Act_of_1993, Accessed on October
xi Systems Theory, https://www.utwente.nl/en/bms/communication-
tem_Theory/, Accessed on October 27, 2018.
xii Fowler, C., (2013), Workplace conflict: A phenomenological study of
the types, processes, and consequences of small business conflict,
Accessed on September 1, 2018.