Introduction to Conflict Resolution
The Office of Diversity and Compliance offers informal resolution (mediation) to resolve complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and of interpersonal workplace issues. Mediation is offered to all employees, except in circumstances where it would be inappropriate (i.e. where physical violence is alleged or where there is a need for specific findings regarding an individual’s actions).
PCOM believes that mediation provides an effective means for resolving conflict, increasing productivity, increasing job satisfaction and decreasing turnover - thereby increasing retention of our valuable employees. Further, the College believes that having an established procedure for managing differences, identifying common interests and resolving conflict supports its commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce.
For more information about mediation, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process through which the participants with the assistance of a neutral, third-party mediator attempt to resolve a conflict or dispute and reach an agreement through discussion and negotiation.
What is the role of a mediator?
A mediator acts as an impartial facilitator to assists the participants in identifying issues, reducing obstacles to communication, maximizing the exploration of alternative solutions and helping participants reach voluntary agreements. A mediator is not a decision-maker and will not impose a solution on the participants. A mediation session can be led by a single mediator or by co-mediators who work as a team.
How does the mediation process work?
Prior to the mediation, the mediator talks to each party to get an overview of the issues involved.
The mediation is scheduled at a mutually agreeable time. Depending on the issues, more than one mediation session may be needed.
The mediation begins with the mediator making an opening statement describing the purpose of the mediation, the role of the mediator and the participants, the confidentiality process and procedural guidelines.
Each participant describes the issues that bring them to mediation.
With the help of the mediator, the participants create a list of issues to be resolved.
The mediator works with the participants, either in a joint session or individually, to identify each participant’s interests or needs (which can be substantive, procedural or psychological).
Participants with the help of the mediator explore solutions that meet the interests or needs of all participants.
If an agreement is reached, it is written down and signed by the participants.
What are the benefits of mediation?
The process is private and confidential.
The mediation process is fast and less time-consuming than other processes.
Mediation has a high level of success.
Parties to the mediation have control over the outcome; no settlement is reached unless the parties agree.
Mediation can help restore or maintain relationships.
Mediated agreements can address issues that otherwise might be unresolved in a grievance or legal proceeding.
What if one party does not want to participate in mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process. No one can be forced to mediate, to continue to mediate or to agree to a settlement.
How do I initiate the mediation process with the Office of Diversity and Compliance?
If you are interested in resolving a conflict through the mediation process, please contact:
The Office of Diversity and Compliance
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Rowland Hall, Suite 415
4190 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131