Mediation is a key leadership communication skill


Mediation is part of leadership communicationMediation is a powerful leadership communication tool to smooth the way through disagreements.

Learning to successfully respond to conflict helps a leader learn that conflict can be very good for an organization. For instance, conflict can:

  • Help to measure unrest in a group of employees
  • Point out blind spots in programs, activities or policies
  • Measure the level of interest in topics or issues

A leader who recognizes these problems and becomes a mediator to help others work through their issues becomes a valuable asset to the organization.

It is important to understand some key ideas about conflict. A study of conflict by the Harvard Negotiating Project made some meaningful observations:

  • Conflict is a natural process, part of the nature of all relationships
  • Conflict can be managed through effective communications

Most problems begin as specks on the horizon, and leaders should not ignore them.

By taking action early, the small problem doesn’t become a big issue, or grow to a crisis. Take action using mediation to keep conflict from becoming an overwhelming problem.

Mediation is very effective. Even kids can do it. A peer mediation program in an elementary school in Lansing, Michigan, decreased the number of school fights from five per week to five per year.


Make mediation a part of your business plan. Click below to learn 7 tips on how to mediate and find sources for mediation training at community-based Conflict Resolution Centers.


Jack Pyle: The Face to Face Maximizer


Do You Listen to Yourself?


Do You Listen to Yourself?

Do you communicate with yourself?  I’m not asking if you are crazy, as in “do you talk to yourself?”  I’m really wondering if you listen to yourself.

My question is prompted by a recent chat I had with Jep Enck.  (You may remember him.  He is one of the experts that responds to our communication cases (read his response) and I introduced him in a previous blog (See blog on Troublesome Communication).

I’ve always thought that listening was the most important communication skills.  After talking to Jep, I realized that when I am thinking about listening, I’m focusing on the listening skill that builds good relationships.  Jep Enck (go to Jep’s website) got me thinking about the importance of listening to yourself in order to achieve a sense of balance and fulfillment.  After all, one’s own good health is a prerequisite to establishing positive relationships.

When Jep says “Listen to yourself,” he’s talking about listening to your body as well as your thoughts or “inner voice.”  He told me that when he was in his 30’s he was diagnosed with a terminal virus that affected his voice box.  What a wake up call!  His body was, indeed, sending him a message.

When he discovered that his ailment was closely related to a stress hormone, he began researching antidotes to stress.  At first he focused on humor and exercise.  Later, he learned about yoga and meditation.  Then, with a background in management consulting, he studied therapy, learning from great minds including those of Stephen Covey, Andrew Weil, and Deepak Chopra. He moved into the field of personal coaching, where he knew he had a lot to offer.

What I want to tell you is that he developed a Balance Survey (you can find it on his website) which helps his clients gain insights about possible stress and imbalance in their life. It’s a useful tool to discover how ones values relate to the use of time, energy and money.

I encourage you to give it a try.  It is not copyrighted, and Jep is happy to share it. I think you will find it to be a fun survey, especially because when you completing the survey you are writing about your favorite subject – yourself!

Watch this space and on another day I’ll share with you what Jep has learned after reviewing over 200 surveys and working with so many people individually.

Signing off,

Carolyn Shadle, Ph.D.and John Meyer, Ph.D.

ICS Workplace Communication, Carolyn Shadle, PhD, and John Meyer, PhD

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