When I read the case-study, I made a few hypotheses:
Jim really appreciates Harriet and the work she does
He genuinely wanted to give her the merit raise but couldn’t say no opr wasn’t able to explain the financial difficulties to her
He was angry with himself for delaying the decision that he knew he had to make because he felt guilty
He didn’t want to give her a written reprimand but felt he had to in order not to lose face with his office staff
He has difficulty expressing his feelings and communicating with people, much preferring administration work in the office
Harriet believes she has given everything to that job over the past fifteen years and feels really hurt and unappreciated
Deep down she knows she shouldn’t have criticised Jim in public
She has had a very good working relationship with him for two years
Like Jim she didn’t want to take the action she took but she feels she has no choice
She believes that she could have gone about asking for a pay raise in a different way
I decided to focus on the needs of both participants i.e. Harriet’s need for appreciation and Jims need to express himself freely.
For the purpose of this exercise I have used the following abbreviations:
J = Jim, H = Harriet, M = Mediator, IV = Inner voice of mediator
I have also not included the beginning of the recording concerning groundrules etc.
M: Well, who would like to start?
IV: Jim looks rather nervous and uptight but this is to be expected as he is not an outgoing type- rather introverted and withdrawn. I expected Harriet to begin and she did.
H: I will. I have worked here for fifteen years. In fact I am the most senior person in the department. I have given my life to this job. Jim was appointed head of department two years ago. I have worked very closely with him until this incident. I reported to him at least once every day. I kept him informed. I ran the place well. I tried to create a good atmosphere