As well as credibility, trustworthiness and communication skills, a mediator must enjoy outsider status  -  the sheer fact of being a neutral observer brings a new dimension to workplace conflicts.

I once had to perform some shuttle-diplomacy in a big electronics factory, where there was a dreadful atmosphere that hit you the moment you walked in.

All I had to do was repeat word-for-word the terms of one particular deal that had been rejected outright when spoken by the original negotiator.

When spoken by a total stranger  -  me  -  it was listened-to properly for the first time, and promptly accepted, subject to a tiny face-saving condition.

This reminds you of the irrational nature of workplace communications, and the value of mediation as a lubricant which can bring the perception of a grievance back into proportion. You really do need the non-judgmental outsider who is not going to apportion blame and who will remain neutral and objective.

It is not always very easy to listen attentively to someone else and this is one of the reasons why I wrote the ebook Essential Communication Secrets.  Why not take a look here and see how you can improve your communication skills.

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