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Common Mediation Scenarios

Scenario Jane is a long-time employee at JMU and was assigned to train Melanie, a new employee hired about three months ago. Jane and Melanie met daily, then weekly, and have now stopped having regular meetings. Melanie still continues to ask questions and involve Jane in every decision. Jane wishes Melanie would stop bothering her. Melanie wishes Jane would not make her feel bad for asking questions.

Scenario Bill is the supervisor in a lab and is responsible for the smooth running of the lab and new programs. His employee, Jason, does a good job and likes to take ownership of his responsibilities. Bill delegates the investigative legwork to Jason and regularly checks up on the progress of the project, making helpful suggestions to make the work easier for Jason. Jason feels his boss is looking over his shoulder and micromanaging him. Bill feels he is making Jason's work easier by offering suggestions.

Scenario Laura's son dated Emily's daughter since they were 16. Laura and Emily work together frequently, but they are not in the same department. They enjoyed a great working relationship and a personal friendship as well, until Laura's son broke up with Emily's daughter. Now they have a difficult time even speaking to each other. They are not able to accomplish much without someone taking something said the wrong way, or getting their feelings hurt. They both admit they need help airing their differences.

Scenario A department has been through reorganization and the employees are left feeling that they do not know each other any longer. They are not sure who they can trust. During the reorganization, some employees were promoted over others who had been at JMU longer. Some employees were assigned different duties. Some feel they have been completely left out of the loop and no longer feel like they are a part of the department.

Scenario John has been issued a disciplinary Written Notice. He files a grievance. HR offers Mediation Services. He and the supervisor agree to a mediation session. The grievance is put on hold, and a mediation session is held with the understanding that the purpose is not to convince the supervisor to withdraw the Written Notice, but to air the issues surrounding the notice. Both parties agree not to hold anything said in the mediation session against one another. If John chooses, he may resume the grievance process. If the supervisor chooses, he may remove/reduce the Written Notice.