Pulse: the key to Strategic Mediation
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Conflict transcends in all spheres of life and visibly in the circles of organisations, families and relationships just to mention a few. When it happens, it turns healthy relationships into unhealthy ones, making individuals or parties involved operating in the Red Zone instead of the Green Zone.

Over the years, parties to conflicts have tried to resolve their differences mostly by using the old aged adversarial approach, but this outmoded approach had not yielded the desired peace that the disputants are yearning for.

It has somewhat led the parties to be in worse off situations by producing a win-lose resolution instead of a win-win resolution, leaving the aggrieved parties to the conflict still operating in the retaliatory cycle because the causative agent or the trigger upon which the differences occurred is still visibly present. This stands to reason that, the old aged adversarial method of resolving conflict is not able to move parties from the Red zone of acrimony to the Green zone of peaceful co-existence where parties release relax and relate well.

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In this our modern time, there is the need to look out for an interest-based conflict resolution approach that can stand the test of time and able to resolve differences among the disputing parties with an outcome which is mutually agreeable to both parties.

Mediation using the PULSE process is the 21st Century conflict resolution mechanism which can miraculously resolve differences with an outcome which mutually benefits and satisfies parties to the conflict.

The PULSE mediation tool follows a process that can calm disputing parties who are at each other’s neck and get them to keep talking until a resolution is reached. This is made possible because the PULSE mediator uses the GHOST protocol which guides the parties to speak in a Gentle, Honest, Open, Specific manner and Talk. It allows for parties to the conflict to say what is on their hearts but gently, being honest to what they are saying, being open to what is being said, being specific in giving examples for clarity on what is being said and parties are encouraged to TALK  because without Talk there is no resolution or decision.

Again, PULSE mediation process ensures that the relationship is intact because confidentiality is highly kept so that parties to the conflict trust the process and allow parties to say what they are thinking with confidence. The secret is to have everyone agree on a level of confidentiality that is comfortable.

Furthermore, PULSE mediation tool allows the parties to the conflict to own the process in their bid to come out with sustainable, mutually agreeable plans of actions. The PULSE conversation focuses on topics and decisions that are within the parties’ authority and that they will only make decisions for themselves. This allows parties to search for options which are feasible and doable and this is done through brainstorming to generate these options. It must be noted that it is the parties themselves who generate these options in the search for a sustainable mutually agreeable resolution to the dispute.

Again, after the parties have come out with feasible and doable options, a plan of action is drawn to guide the future relationship between the parties.

PULSE mediation tool spells out cardinal rules to guide the process and urges parties to stay in the essential process that is having face to face talk without interruption long enough to reach a resolution. The cardinal rules ensure for ‘No power play, and No walk away’ by any of the parties.

These rules help parties to limit their distancing reflexes causing them to withdraw from the conversation, whether in self-defence to protect themselves against feeling frustrated and despairing or retaliating against the other.

The no coercion or “power-plays” rule intentionally distract parties from using the process as a front to win a power struggle by imposing a one-sided solution via threat, ultimatums, intimidation, or other force on the other.

The PULSE frame is capable of resolving conflicts or differences among employees, supervisors, management and union executives with sustainable outcomes which mutually benefits parties involved in the conflict. Following the process gives parties the opportunity to restore soured relationships into healthy ones so that parties can engage in quality conversation.

Also, PULSE mediation process ensures that the outcome is a win-win with parties to the conflict mutually satisfied with the process because each party’s interest is met.

Sources

Managing Differences by Dr Daniel Dana (2001)

PULSE conversation for change by Dr Nancy Love (1999)

By: Bright Sconi

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ADR Daily is a specialized news portal with a focus on providing authentic news, information and research analysis on Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR), Human Resource Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations Management (IRM) in Ghana and beyond. This platform serves as an information resource base for the progress of the ADR, HRM and IRM industries, and seeks to promote professionalism in ADR practice by supporting a network of ADR professionals within and across nations and continents. ADR Daily keenly encourages the mass adoption of ADR mechanisms, particularly negotiation, mediation and arbitration for the resolution of disputes in all spheres, through the publication of industry news and information, as well as by deploying innovative awareness creation engagements.