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Pattern of problems between MANAGER AND SUBORDINATES

Occasionally a situation develops where an otherwise highly regarded manager has similar problems in working with most or all of the employees reporting to him or her.  "Poor communications" is invariably one of the complaints (and often the main one) expressed by the subordinates.  When individual coaching of the manager does not resolve the problem, collaborative mediation can often come up with solutions not previously considered by any of the parties involved.  By caucusing ("shuttle" negotiations) between the manager and subordinates, mediators can often surface underlying issues and potential solutions that the parties to the conflict were previously unaware of.  The mediators can act as the spokesperson for the subordinate group in presenting their grievances and concerns to the manager, without identifying the specific individual(s) having each complaint.  The mediators are able to express the subordinatesí concerns in terms that the manager can hear more easily than the words used by the subordinates.  Caucusing separately with the manager also reduces the threat level to the manager.  Knowing that the mediation process is confidential encourages the manager to candidly vent his or her concerns and frustrations about the situation, without fear of those comments being related back to anyone in the organization.

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