Coaching and Mediation

Mediating between employee and teamleader

Goal

There was tension. The head of the team had doubts about whether the employee was good enough for her job. The employee had complained and I was asked to mediate. I spoke to each person individually and then have two group meetings. I don’t choose sides. Each person has his/her own truth, even if the stories are contradictory.

Process

When I spoke to the employee, it was clear she felt there was no room to make her own decisions. The head of the team was always looking over her shoulder.  She felt powerless and didn’t enjoy coming to work.  The head of the team had a completely different story. He was frustrated she was so dependent on him. She couldn’t decide anything without consulting him first. He was dissatisfied with the employees productivity.  

When the three of us met, it was clear that they were nervous. In a group meeting I give everyone gets a chance to tell his/her story without the other interrupting. What the team leader experienced as ‘not independent enough’ was experienced by the employee as ‘too controlling and condescending’.  That was their conclusion after listening to one another.  They were both surprised.

Approach

I asked about the employees work plan (she had never made one). And I asked why the team leader made such detailed planning with the employee (he didn’t trust him to do it on his own).  A week later we were to meet again. Both were to think about what they needed and how they could improve the situation. The employee was going to make a workplan. With the team leader I discussed the need to give the employee more space to prove herself.

After the team leader approved the work plan, I agree to come back in six months to evaluate how things have progressed.