April saw the first birthday of the Employment Act , April 2009. The Act strongly recommends
that informal dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, be used before formal procedures
like grievances and disciplinaries are invoked.
Too often formal procedures alienate the two parties involve, often over-complicating a conflict which
could be resolved by simply letting each party understand their opponents point of view. One important
factor is saving face.
Have you ever found yourself backed into a corner, defending a position which you no longer believe in,
but feeling there is no way out without losing face? This often happens as disputes escalate and mud is
thrown by each side.
People need a chance to save face, and often this means going slower, ie taking time to hear their
point of view, to let them suggest the solution or concession themselves, rather than having it
imposed on them. The difference in approach is subtle but powerful and can make all the difference
between resistance and co-operation.