The Essential Guide to Workplace Mediation and Conflict Resolution: Rebuilding Working Relationships

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Workplace mediation is becoming an increasingly popular dispute resolution method to settle interpersonal employee conflicts, including harassment and bullying complaints. There is a direct ratio between the quality of relationships across the workplace and long-term effectiveness and success. Mediation addresses complex relationship difficulties head-on so that working relationships can be restored.

Fostering a philosophy of mediation as a culture and a “co-entrepreneurial” business model, Doherty and Guyler consider what mediation is, why it is necessary and how it works, including the main principles of operation and the 6-step structure of a mediation meeting.  They analyze the reasons for conflict and suggest useful everyday communication skills to help defuse anger or aggression.  Real case studies look at specific complaints of bullying, of sexual harassment and of racism, generational conflicts within family businesses and boardroom conflicts between chairmen and CEOs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For those who want themselves and their businesses to succeed in these challengingtimes, this book offers real help." - Professional Manager

"GetAbstract recommends it to serious students of mediation and to human resource professionals who require in-depth solutions." -

"An excellent set of case histories and examples emphasizes processes and successful outcomes." — The Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749450199
  • Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 174
  • Sales rank: 732,612
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Nora Doherty is one of the UK's leading independent consultants in the field of workplace mediation for businesses and organizations.

Marcelas Guyler is a business trainer, communications and development consultant, workplace mediator, Managing Director of The Human Business Limited and principal consultant of MCRG (the Mediated Cultures and Resolutions Group).

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Table of Contents



                        Why should I find out about workplace mediation?   

                        Finding your way around this book    

Part I Workplace mediation 

1.         So what exactly is workplace mediation?    

                        A working definition of mediation     

                        The underlying principles of mediation          

                        Where does workplace mediation come from?           

2.         An example of a breakdown in a workplace relationship: Wendy and Mark        

                        Wendy and Mark and a complaint of bullying

                        So how do organizations respond to conflict?

3.         Just how does mediation work?       

                        The six-step model of mediation        

                        Confidentiality in mediation   

                        Mediation and levels of listening        

4.         Finding your way around conflict resolution: what is special about mediation?    

                        The nature of conflict 

                        The elements that can divide  

                        The principles that unite         

                        Dispute resolution methods    

                        A comparative continuum of workplace interventions           

                        What is special about mediation?        

5.         How mediation can be used within organizations    

                        Mediation when working relationships break down    

                        Mediation as an informal resolution within personnel policies           

                        Mediation after a formal investigation has taken place           

                        Mediation as part of your customer or client complaints procedure    

6.         Workplace mediation for teams       

                        So what lies behind team conflict?     

                        Conflict scenarios: how will team dysfunction be manifest?  

                        Team mediation is not an ‘away day’ 

                        What is team mediation?         

                        Who should facilitate a team mediation?        

                        When team mediation should be considered and when not    

                        Organizing a team mediation  

7.         Team mediation and group dynamics          

                        Looking at group dynamics    

                        Mediation and sub-personalities         

                        Dealing with cultural differences: prejudice, assumptions and discrimination

                        Mediation and group scapegoating      

                        Team mediation and ‘ghost figures’    

8.         Introducing mediation into your workplace

                        Who is going to carry out the mediations?      

                        Where do you find external mediators?          

                        How do you select internal mediators from your staff?          

                        What training will internal mediators need?    

                        Supervision of internal mediators       

                        How will mediation be part of your personnel policies?         

                        Dissemination of mediation throughout your organization     

Part II Mediation in action: case studies of real life workplace mediations           

9.         Case studies of workplace mediation between two employees        

                        A mediation for a complaint of bullying against a manager    

                        A mediation for a complaint of sexual harassment     

                        A mediation between two colleagues sharing an office and alleged racism    

                        Moving through the eye of the storm and the art of the impossible: a mediator’s view of the process

10.       Case studies of workplace mediation with teams     

                        Team Case Study One: a team with multiple problems           

                        Team Case Study Two: mediation between senior managers and two teams   

11.       Case Studies of workplace mediation for boardroom conflicts       

                        Mediation for a family manufacturing firm between directors – father and son         

                        Mediation for an international company between the chairman and the managing director    

Part III The philosophy and processes of mediation: in support of conflict managers and organizational development  

12.       Why do conflicts arise? Some universal, individual and interpersonal models       

                        Stress, threat and conflict: ‘hardwired for a fight…’   

                        Stress and conflict in the contemporary business environment of change      

                        Individual perception, life-stances and conflict          

                        Personal responses to conflict: passive/aggressive/assertive    

                        Interpersonal conflict styles and tactics: a summary   

                        Avoiding negativity for mediators and conflict managers       

13.       Why and how should managers respond to conflict?           

                        ‘Conflict costs’: managing conflict effectively saves money  

                        Anger and how to handle it     

                        Managing your mind-talk        

                        Reframing inflammatory language: turning poisons into honey          

                        Changing an impasse into a win–win solution

                        Resolving everyday conflicts quickly with the Brief MediationTM model       

14.       The philosophy of mediation and the business of empowerment     

                        ‘May you live in interesting times’      

                        So where are organizations headed in the 21st century?         

                        Mediation and the business of empowerment 

                        Empowerment and responsibility within mediation    

15.       ‘Beyond mediation’: the culture of mediation and organizational development    

                        Mediation as a culture and the ‘co-entrepreneurial’ business  

                        The mediation process and ‘mediated business solutions’      

                        Conclusions: the last word      



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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Detailed guide to resolving disagreements in the workplace

    When a dispute disrupts the workplace, managers need to act fast before performance declines, morale wanes and everyone in the company suffers. Mediation consultant Nora Doherty and business trainer Marcelas Guyler have written a helpful textbook on various ways to resolve workplace conflicts. Using several academic studies and practical examples, the authors present a range of mediation models and tactics for effective dispute resolution. They cite numerous disagreements involving people in a plethora of different cultures and jobs, from the assembly line to the boardroom. This is a dense, detailed book, so getAbstract recommends it to serious students of mediation and to human resources professionals who require in-depth solutions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2008


    Doherty & Guyler have written a superb guide to modern mediation techniques here. Their analytical review of dispute resolution has direct significance to our need for strong policies on diversity in the modern workplace today. The book is a practical approach on how to deal with the confrontational aspects of challenging behaviour in modern business without resorting to the courts at first instance. It is a commonsense book for both the business professional and the lawyer/adviser prior to the litigation process, and it is great for reflective practice on how to respond to conflict in most working environments. The work is also ideal for continuous personal professional development giving sensible solutions to workplace disputes for all levels of the workforce. The guide gives advice concerning why conflicts arise, the methods of dispute resolution, how mediation can be developed in the workplace, and team mediation and group dynamics. Be prepared for some of the jargon and language we see in educational research and human resources `speak¿, although, to be fair, Doherty & Guyler use it as sparingly as possible with their case studies which I found most helpful throughout the fifteen chapters. This essential guide is useful for the trainer who needs to anticipate and pre-empt situations and incidents. It attempts to offer advice to diffuse conflict in all its shapes and sizes and it has an appeal across business structures for all workers in modern society. It is also free of ¿lawyer-speak¿ (no footnotes and cases) which will be of interest especially to the modern solicitor, citizen adviser and the unhappy client who wants a `day in court¿. It is, in reality, an essential guide to survival by mediation where behaviour has become the ultimate challenge not just for the boss, but for all colleagues. Phillip Taylor MBE Barrister-at-Law. Richmond Green Chambers.

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