Tag: injured workers

The Path to Resolution: At Work, At Home & In The World

Imagine…

A participating party refuses to make concessions about their case, although the path to a smoother, less stressful tomorrow is obviously in contradiction to what they say they want. How can they not see this?

It’s week 3 of your spouse lamenting about their latest struggles at work, and no matter what you suggest, you’re met with resistance. Why aren’t they at least trying to solve the problem?

The other side” wants to handle the problem this way, but that’s clearly ridiculous and makes no sense. How could they think this way?

Everyday— in the mediation room, at home, in the world— we are confronted with choices, beliefs and actions of others that we may not understand or agree with. And when others think differently than we do, it’s easy to conclude that “they” are blind, ignorant, careless, foolish. This labeling creates a distance between “us” and “them,” one that feels good, initially, because it assures us that it is not us who are “stupid” or foolish, it is “them.” We are the smart ones, the right ones, the ones who see clearly. If only “they” could think like us.

In maintaining this distance, we also maintain the subconscious belief that if those who disagreed with us would only come over to our side, things would be better, the problem would be solved, and all would be right. The greater the distance between “us” and “them,” the easier it is to maintain this belief.

We at Prism Group, though, believe resolution happens when both parties are willing to bridge that gap, to close the distance between “our side” and “the other side.” We believe resolution happens— at work, at home & in the world—when each side has the courage to walk towards the other in efforts to understand them.

Walking towards “the other” requires us to put our Egos aside, however. When we choose resolution, we must also choose to abandon our position and seek to understand another. We must choose to forego being “right” in exchange for moving forward in resolution together. Prism’s path to resolution is not about what each side wants, it’s about what both sides want: resolution. We believe resolution begins with an effort to understand “the other side”— at work, at home & in the world.

Why Mediation and the Value of a New Tomorrow

Prism Group - Why Mediation

“I am tired. And I need a better tomorrow.”

“You don’t understand, Mr. Jordan,” commented Mrs. Johnson. “I am raising a 13 and 9 year old grandson and granddaughter. This injury has turned my entire life upside down. I hurt all the time, I’m frustrated because I’m not making the same amount of money, and I’m still trying to raise these two kids as best I can. I’ve got to find a way to a ‘tomorrow’ that gives me a better quality of life than the ‘today’ of being stuck in this system.”

Injured workers and their families want something very simple: a better tomorrow. A physical injury and all of its challenges to daily life, coupled with the hoops and loops of the system create a “today” that is painful and frustrating for all involved.

This is not a “today” Mrs. Johnson wants to continue having.

All she wants is a better tomorrow; one that is vastly different from the string of “todays” she has been living for the last three years since her work-related accident.

The best path to this better tomorrow begins with relational trust. In mediation, as well as in life in general, carving that path starts with an understanding of the choices for “tomorrow”. Then, together, through discussion, information sharing, and relationship building, we narrow those choices into what best fits the situation.

There’s no magic to mediation. It is simply relational trust among people exploring options together, and the opportunity for them to ultimately decide what they want their tomorrow to look like.

After several hours, Mrs. Johnson made a decision that left her feeling as if her tomorrow would be different than it had been for many years.

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Relational trust.

Exploring options.

Choosing a better tomorrow.

That’s how the Prism Group does mediation.