Dispute Resolution

 Introduction

The parties agree that in the event of a question, dispute or difficulty arising, the following procedure shall apply.

Team members – whether employed by PUSHWORTH or are in a Limited Liability Partnership service contract work in compliance to the PUSHWORTH Team Agreement and the PUSHWORTH Code of Conduct are encouraged to make a time to speak with the Directors regarding their perceived:

  • Beach of Team Member Work Agreement
  • Breach of Code of Conduct

Questions regarding classification standards, wages, superannuation, leave and all other HR matters are not covered by the Dispute Resolution Policy, and are to be submitted to the Directors for consideration in the HR Q Process. All investigations will be dealt with accordingly pending resource allocation. All questions will be responded to as soon as possible pending operational time constraints. Time spent by the Team Member in any Dispute Resolution process or HR Q Process is spent outside of scheduled working hours and is without pay.  You agree that the continuation of business is the number one priority for PUSHWORTH.  You agree to speak with your Directors for all your concerns, questions and HR Matters as your first step in the PUSHWORTH Dispute Resolution process. Should you be unable to reach an amicable resolution, a third party mediator will be brought in by PUSHWORTH to assist the Dispute Resolution Process.

Standards for Dispute Resolution

Conflict is a natural part of working as a team or with a group of people. Through sharing our differing perspectives on issues and ways of working, we can develop new ways of operating and can benefit from sharing our ideas.

As per the PUSHWORTH Team Member Agreement, you agree that in the event of a question, dispute or difficulty arising, the following procedure shall apply.

Team members – whether employed by PUSHWORTH or are in a Limited Liability Partnership service contract work in compliance to the PUSHWORTH Team Agreement and the PUSHWORTH Code of Conduct are encouraged to make a time to speak with the Directors regarding their perceived:

  • Beach of Team Member Work Agreement
  • Breach of Code of Conduct

Questions regarding classification standards, wages, superannuation, leave and all other HR matters are not covered by the Dispute Resolution Policy, and are to be submitted to the Directors for consideration in the HR Q Process. All investigations will be dealt with accordingly pending resource allocation. All questions will be responded to as soon as possible pending operational time constraints. Time spent by the Team Member in any Dispute Resolution process or HR Q Process is spent outside of scheduled working hours and is without pay.

Resolution Terms

 The Demartini Method™ – As the PUSHWORTH Administration Manager is a trained senior international facilitator in The Demartini Method™, she will facilitate all sessions using this method pending her availability.

  • Reflective listening (can also be called active listening):
    • The idea is that you give out cues that you are listening to the other person, and taking in what they’re saying.
    • These cues can be things like eye-contact or nodding. In a larger, facilitated group, the facilitator can pick out the gist of what someone is saying and then put it back to them, eg: So you’re feeling angry and frustrated.
  • Being heard:
    • Being heard is when people realise that they are being listened to, and that people are actually taking in what they are saying. One way to do this is to ask: Do you feel that you’re re being heard? Often people just want to vent anger this gives them space to do so.
  • Language:
    • Non-aggressive communication. Saying things in non-aggressive way, so that you’re not directly attacking the other person. For example, rather than saying you really piss me off when you do this, you would say I feel angry when this happens.

 Step 1

 Awareness & Preparation Phase

This can take some time. Advocates need to go into the dispute resolution session ready to tackle the  issues, and reassured about the fairness of the process.

  • All parties need to accept there is a dispute, even if they do not feel personally affected.
  • All parties need to agree to deal with dispute using the dispute resolution process.

 Who should be there?

 Rule of thumb being: all those involved in the dispute should be involved in the resolution.

Do we need a facilitator or can we do it alone?

 If we need one, either Director is trained to facilitate and will be available to facilitate your dispute and conflict. Should the CEO facilitate, both parties agree to participate in The Demartini Method™ – an international human behaviour methodology designed for dispute and conflict resolution.

  • A suitable time and place needs to be made for the dispute resolution session. This needs to be private, neutral and free from interruptions.
  • Starting and ending times need to be clear.

For disputes between two individuals or in which one person is isolated, it is recommended that a support person or ally be designated to each person, to provide emotional support during the dispute resolution process. The support person’s role is not to enter into or be involved in the processes, but simply to listen and be there for the person. They must also agree to keep all information confidential; it is not their place to impart this information.

It may be appropriate to suggest that people consider finding a way to deal with strong feelings in a safe and independent way before the dispute resolution session. For example, both parties should prepare before the session they need to think about how they’re feeling, be prepared for what emotions the session might invoke. Working out if these emotions are appropriate and constructive and useful is a practical application. The advocates should be committed to not letting their feelings swamp them. This can and does happen, and sometimes a break can be both necessary and valuable. People often feel the need to vent their emotions before resolution sessions. Talking to their ally beforehand and working through their emotions can be helpful.

 Step 2

One to one without Director Facilitation

When disputes are not major and are responded to in time, the process can be quite informal whilst still using the basic structure and the primary skills of assertive language and reflective listening. Again, if advocates wish to have a support person or ally at this meeting, they are entitled to do so, providing they inform the other party in advance, giving them the chance to do so as well.

The following procedures should be followed:

 Each takes a turn to speak: This can be an agreed upon length of time to ensure fairness if this seems best. People speak of their view of the dispute, their feelings and needs and the effect on them, – not the solutions.

 The other party reflectively listens: The speaker should be reflectively listened to until they Feel Heard.

Ownership and responses: Each person has a turn to own their part in the dispute and respond to criticisms made. It may be necessary to have 2 or 3 turns at this until all criticisms and feelings have been heard or apologies given.

Working out solutions: This needs to be a collaborative effort where clear solutions of mutual benefit are worked out.

Follow Up: It is important to make a time to follow up and see how the solutions are working out. This can be as informal as a cup of coffee together but needs a definite time to prevent avoidance!

Evaluation: This can simply be answering the question of how did we go and how do we feel now? It is, however, an essential step in the process.

Affirmations: It is good to finish with some positive comments about each other if this seems appropriate.

Congratulations and Celebration! It is important to congratulate ourselves when we have reached the end of the process. Maybe a meal together is in order?

 Step 3

 Facilitated Resolution

For more complex disputes, or where one on one resolution has been ineffective, a facilitator should be used to give the resolution a more structured approach. This is especially useful if the whole group is to be involved in the process.

Setting the scene The facilitator/s should:

  • Introduce themselves.
  • Get clear acceptance for their facilitation.
  • Check that all agree to be there & that all significant people are there.
  • If The Demartini Method™ is to be utilised, this will be introduced and explained to all parties prior to facilitation.
  • Outline the process, see that everyone understands it, and get the parties agreement to use it.
  • Reflective listening and language reminder, people need to be reminded in some way of these essential techniques to help encourage clear communication during the session.

 The negotiation phase

  • Make behavioural agreements, for example:
  • Clear ending time
  • No personal put downs
  • All staying to the end
  • No interruptions
  • Break times
  • Tune-in. A pause of silence for everyone to gather thoughts and centre themselves in the present.
  • Timed turns to talk, each person has equal time (unless otherwise agreed to) to speak of:
  • Their view of the problem
  • Their feelings
  • Their needs
  • What they are prepared to own in the dispute

 No Solutions at this stage! Flexibility is needed here.

IT may take several turns or some people may need extra time. This must be negotiated with the group.

Others listen and reflect back what the speaker is saying without answering back until the speaker feels heard.

After each speaker has been heard, record (on a large piece of paper or whiteboard, for all to see) the major issues they have raised.

 Ownership and apology

After people have heard everyone’s views, feelings, needs and contribution to the dispute, it is useful to ask people again to own their parts in the dispute and to make any apologies that are required. This is especially important when criticisms have been made to particular people. What part of this criticism are they prepared to own and apologise for?

 Group discussion of major issues

After all views, feelings & needs have been heard, and peoples parts in the dispute acknowledged, link and group all issues into two or three major issues which can be re-named and recorded separately. Prioritise quickly and then tackle each issue separately.

 Brainstorm possible solutions

Expand range of possible outcomes, encourage wild ideas and exploration of all possibilities. Broaden people’s perspectives of the available choices.

Discussion of solutions

Attempt to merge or build upon ideas, leading to a choosing of solutions. Ask people to ask themselves – What is best for US? Instead of What do I want?

Implement chosen solution

  • What, when, how, who? Write all of this down.
  • Repeat process for other issues or make another time to discuss them later.
  • Make a definite time for follow up to see how the resolutions have gone.
  • Affirm people and the group as often as possible and is appropriate.
  • Encourage people to affirm each other.
  • Evaluation of Session
  • Make every attempt to celebrate the outcome.

 Step 4

 Inability to resolve dispute

If the parties and the program are unable to resolve the dispute, the facilitator will be asked to report back to the group with recommendations. The group must beforehand agree to be bound by these recommendations.

Should you be unable to reach an amicable resolution, a third-party mediator will be brought in by PUSHWORTH to assist the Dispute Resolution Process.

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