Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hell's Kitchen, June 2007

This has been an interesting week at work. Much of my time has been consumed by a disagreement between two employees - I’ve found myself in the role of conflict mediator. It’s been more than interesting. It’s been downright hard.

I’ve tried to understand and weigh both sides, and to help the ever-widening group of people involved to also understand. I’ve tried to do justice to the offended employee while being fair to the one accused of offending.

It’s surprisingly difficult to make everyone happy. Listening seems to help a lot - really listening to those complaining, whether directly affected or a bystander. And keeping a level head, needless to say, is essential.

I think the issue is more or less resolved. But wow, how taxing it all was. I don’t think I’ve been this tense at work for years.


  1. They were so lucky to have you as mediator. I can't think of anyone I know who could be more fair, thoughtful and compassionate. Wow!!

    You know me and my theories? Well ... one of them is that conflict serves an energetic purpose; it opens time/space so that new ideas can emerge. That's the best possible resolution of conflict, I think anyway.

    May there be peace at the office, peace within your sweet little cat, and peace in your own heart, too!

  2. Thanks, Reya, for the vote of confidence and the positive wishes. :)

  3. I think I lost the comment--

    it was basically "you are great--it will work out!

    nice shot--it felt like a sort of knot before I read the post--

  4. One of the benefits of working in a company that was constantly downsizing, was the fewer and fewer people that I had to deal with around the office.

  5. It's incredible how much energy it takes to balance others. And listening is so useful, not adding to it with words. I am still learning this. It was generous of you to help. I hope the tension subsides. The photo reflects being all bound up!

  6. I tend to be a very good mediator - up until the point where I think one side or the other (or both perhaps) are being unreasonable or unnecessarily stubborn, then my patience wears thin. ;-) I find too many people make such a big deal out of little things - but the waters get murky since it's all so subjective.

  7. Merle is a ray of sunshine, as usual.

    I loved your diplomatic line:

    "It’s surprisingly difficult to make everyone happy."

    I think Merle would have worded that differently.
    The UN has a place for you, Steve!

  8. what a great pic. to go with this post.

    i hope the tension eases a bit soon