From Conflict to Collaboration: Transforming Your Workplace with the Power of Mediation

In the latest episode of “Decoding the Conflict Mindset,” I, Dr. Debra Dupree, the Mindset Doc, had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Angela Reddock-Wright, a highly respected lawyer and mediator. Angela’s extensive background in employment and labor law and her transition from litigation to mediation provide a wealth of insights into the intricacies of workplace conflict resolution.

A Journey Rooted in Advocacy

Angela’s journey into law and mediation is deeply rooted in her early experiences growing up in Birmingham, Alabama. Influenced by her grandmother’s involvement in union strikes for better wages and opportunities, Angela developed a strong sense of advocacy from a young age. This early exposure to the fight for workers’ rights planted the seeds for her future career.

“Watching my grandmother and her co-workers advocate for better conditions left a lasting impression on me,” Angela shared. “It instilled in me a desire to advocate and fight for things that matter.”

This passion for advocacy followed her through college, where she interned at a law firm and realized the potential of a career in law. Angela went on to practice employment and labor law for nearly 30 years before transitioning to mediation, where she now helps resolve conflicts between employers and employees.

The Importance of Mindset in Mediation

One of the key themes we explored during the interview was the crucial role of mindset in mediation. Angela emphasized that for mediation to be effective, all parties involved must approach the process with an open mind and a willingness to resolve the conflict.

“Litigators often come to mediation with their advocate hats on, ready to argue and defend their client’s position,” Angela noted. “However, for mediation to be successful, it’s important to set aside that mindset for a day and embrace the principles of conflict resolution and collaboration.”

She stressed the importance of viewing mediation as a space for conversation, not confrontation. She encouraged legal representatives to shift their approach to facilitate a more productive and positive mediation experience.

Challenges and Barriers to Workplace Conflict Resolution

Angela and I delved into the ongoing challenges in workplace conflict resolution, particularly in employment law. Despite the efforts to train and educate managers and supervisors on preventing harassment, discrimination, and other workplace issues, these problems persist.

“Human nature is complex, and despite years of training and efforts to create better workplaces, we still see these issues arise,” Angela explained. “It’s a reminder that our mediation and conflict resolution work is far from over.”

We also discussed the barriers that can hinder the resolution process, such as the need for more civility among legal representatives and strong leadership at the top of organizations. Angela highlighted that leadership is critical in setting the tone for the entire organization and influencing how conflicts are managed.

The Workplace Transformed: Lessons from the Pandemic

Angela’s recently published book, “The Workplace Transformed: Seven Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic,” offers a reflective look at the significant changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The book serves as a love song to the workplace, urging employers and employees to rethink and reshape their work environments for the future.

“The pandemic forced us all to stop and reconsider our priorities, personally and professionally,” Angela said. “I wanted to capture this moment in time and provide guidance on creating better workplaces moving forward.”

The book addresses various aspects of the workplace that have evolved due to the pandemic, such as remote work, new technologies, and the changing dynamics of management and supervision.

Looking Ahead

As we concluded the interview, Angela and I reflected on the importance of continued efforts to promote fairness, justice, and early intervention in workplace conflicts. Angela’s dedication to mediation and her advocacy for a more equitable work environment serve as an inspiration to us all.

For those interested in learning more about Angela’s work, her book, and her insights into mediation and conflict resolution, you can visit her website or find her book on Amazon and other online publishers.

Stay tuned for the next episode of “Decoding the Conflict Mindset,” where we will be joined by Jack Schaedel, an employment law mediator, who will share his vision for creating a violence-free workplace in light of new legislation in California.

“The secret to resolving workplace conflicts isn’t about winning or losing – it’s about creating a space where everyone feels heard, respected, and empowered to work towards a mutually beneficial solution.”

Angela Reddock-Wright, Seasoned Mediator

Want to learn more about the benefits of workplace mediation? Check out the full episode by following this link >> 

Dr. Debra Dupree, the MINDSET Doc, transforms challenging confrontations into learning conversations, taking the ‘sting’ out of conflict. She saw her own family-owned business embroiled in differences, leading to dashed dreams, damaged relationships, and broken hearts. She turned these early experiences into a lifeline for smart people who fear conflict by bringing in the brain science behind blow-ups and emotional reactions.

People need to work, but life doesn’t always feel ‘psychologically safe’. Dr. D works with leaders and organizations to build climates of courage and curiosity to set the tone for meaningful and positive workplace engagement. Dr. D is a Dispute Resolution Specialist, Conflict | Leadership Coach, and International Trainer | Keynote Speaker. She hosts the podcast ‘Decoding the Conflict Mindset’ to bring thought leaders to people just like you.

Don’t let conflict hold your business back! Empower yourself and your team to navigate conflict effectively.

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