When to Engage an Accredited Mediator – Interview with Matt Connell

In this interview I speak with…

Matt Connell


General Manager People & Culture
Multicultural Community Services Geelong 

Some of Matt's take away top tips:

Appreciating the skills of an Accredited Mediator:

  • There is a difference between formal mediation and ‘having a chat’ with a staff member
  • Being able to have a structured conversation as part of a formal conflict resolution approach
  • The ability to listen effectively
  • The ability to help parties reach resolution by using particular techniques

Why use an External Accredited Mediator

  • Internal managers can be perceived as biased by the affected party/parties 
  • Accredited Mediators have the skills to support parties to reach resolution. Prompt resolution is necessary for productivity, employee morale, employee engagement and retention rates
  • Consider for how long the issue has been affecting one or more employees and the business
  • Consider the seriousness of the matter and the need for a formal agreement to be reached & documented
  • For a ‘tough’ situation that could escalate to become a formal matter
  • To assist with ‘external formal processes’ with external agencies (ie Commissions, courts etc)
  • When internal staff don’t have mediation skills or internal mediation has not fully resolved the matter

Some of Matt’s other insights:

  • It’s important to know why things didn’t work when you were trying to make things work
  • Conflict resolution is not a quick fix
  • People leaders should be skilled to have ‘the necessary conversations’ and know to keep files to demonstrate what has been done to try to ‘stop the situation’ from escalating
  • People leaders should want to help staff resolve their  workplace issues
  • There is too much fear in conflict situations

Click here to connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

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About the Author

Catherine Gillespie brings a wealth of skill to her clients. With particular expertise in teaching communication and workplace conflict resolution skills, Catherine has made a marked difference to the organisations she has worked with. She empowers teams and managers to adopt constructive styles that support harmony, productivity and progress in the workplace.