Since each Mediation is strictly confidential, the names of the parties have been changed and the conflict has been altered so as to be unrecognisable.


Luís, 42, new company manager in the area of services at a national level and responsible for the Porto branch
Abel, 53, manager for the Coimbra branch

Conflict situation:
Before the restructuring, the multinational had three branches in Portugal. Luís was the manager of the Porto branch and Abel of the Coimbra branch. The two were responsible for, among other things, all the companies’ services at a regional level. With the restructuring, four service areas were created at a national level, for which four managers were appointed. The most important area was handed to Luís. Abel didn’t accept his colleague’s newfound power and blocked cooperation. Luís didn’t feel respected and increased the pressure on his colleague to accept his authority.

Luís complained about Abel to the general-director who suggested hiring a mediator so that the two could come to an agreement that would ease future collaboration.

In Mediation, Luís and Abel developed more understanding for the other’s needs: Luís wanted to make the most of a new opportunity and be successful as the new area manager, and Abel wanted to be recognised for the work he had done in that area and maintain his influence.

In Mediation, Luís managed to develop confidence and reduce his need for total control. He realised that Abel’s experience was an asset in order for him to be successful in his own goals. He saw that it was essential to keep Abel on side and motivated and decided to focus on building a partnership with him. In the Mediation Agreement they agreed on a close collaboration: Every Monday they would meet for two hours to analyse the situation. Luís would involve Abel and would consider his opinions, but Luís would take the decisions and set the direction.

Both came out of Mediation with a feeling of recognition and motivation. Luís freed up time and gained an experienced partner on the road to achieving success in his area. Abel retained the most important work and felt that his job was secure. They all stood to gain, including the company.

Conflicts among colleagues lead to a loss in productivity of 20 to 30 per cent.