Whether it be regarding financial agreements, personal relationships or even discrimination, unchecked disputes can lead to the same outcomes as any other conflict, regardless of whether it’s on a pitch or in an office.
In the sporting industry disputes may be athlete-to-athlete, coach-to-athlete, or coach-to-coach in nature. While some are short-lived, others can end in dismissal, suspension, or another form of punishment. Most internal team disputes quietly fester and create dysfunction on a larger scale. They often lead to stifled team performance and significant financial loss.
Highly functioning teams need to be able to communicate effectively and often among team members. When disputes arise, they tend to be swept under a rug and there is no immediate resolution. Protracted disputes can then wreak havoc on a team’s synergy or an athlete’s mojo.
A time-tested and results-proven solution is Mediation. A voluntary, non-binding process that uses a neutral third party to assist the parties in disputes to reach a mutually-agreed settlement without having to resort to litigation, i.e., a court. In the world of sport, where the stakes are high and the expectations higher, mediation has become a well-accepted and important tool for resolving disputes. Sports Mediation requires a particular set of skills to diffuse tensions and identify the real issues. Furthermore, the mediation process provides the best opportunity for all sides to be part of the resolution of the problem and to explore all the possible options in everyone’s best interest. Relationships and even reputations are worth preserving.
As the mediation process is not adversarial, there is no outright winner and therefore no loser. Mediation helps re-open the line of communication in a civil manner. Individuals can listen more effectively, be heard, gain a greater understanding of each other and learn what they do have in common. This goes a long way towards finding an appropriate solution to the parties’ problems.