SEPTEMBER 30, 2003
LAST UNSOLICITED resolutions NEWSLETTER | CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE
We hope you already know that Mediation Services is a confidential, off-the-record service, for any faculty or staff member at the U. But if you have wondered what actually happens, and how it works - here’s an actual example to help explain:
and Susan are co-workers in a research unit. Susan, a writer, sees
Bob as difficult and offensive. She complained several times to
her manager that he was rude and generally insulting and unhelpful. There
were a number of almost-shouting matches between Bob and Susan.
The manager finally recommended to Susan that she try mediation.
When she agreed, the manager then told Bob to expect to hear from Mediation
mediation required a series of meetings. At first the mediator met
separately with each party. Susan reiterated her concerns.
In the meeting with Bob, the mediator learned that Bob was a computer
support expert, who found Susan irritating because she made so many demands
on his time. He felt that, with her years of experience, she should
have learned more about her computer and be able to answer simple questions
the initial joint meeting the mediator merely described and answered questions
about the process, and allowed Susan and Bob each to describe what they
thought issues were. These included some instances in which each
had been offended by the other, some conflicting expectations about what
the other could or should do, and inevitably, some surprises. The
mediator also asked each party to describe what they hoped the mediation
second meeting was spent seeking agreement on what issues might be resolved
in mediation, and a third meeting exploring for areas of agreement.
Only two areas of agreement could be found:
the time the fourth meeting took place, Susan, Bob and the mediator were
all taken by surprise by a definite change in tone. For each of the issues
identified during the second meeting, a tentative solution emerged that
each was willing to try. Susan agreed to make a list of her most
frequent computer questions, and Bob promised to schedule an uninterrupted
2-hour time with her, when she had the list complete, to tutor her on
those problems. Other solutions included ways they would manage
disagreement when it occurred, without the angry outbursts.
The mediator drafted a written statement of these agreements. The three planned a follow up meeting for two months later, to review progress.
Look for other actual anecdotes of mediation services in coming issues of resolutions. If you have specific questions, contact us at www.umich.edu/~mediate.
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and the Work Life Resource Center (WLRC) are offering thirteen different
Brown Bag presentations for the 2003-2004 academic year. Brown
Bags are 45-60 minute
presentations offered free of charge and available to any faculty
or staff group or unit upon request. All sessions are provided at
the requestor’s site and can be held over the lunch hour or are ideal
for staff development sessions.
year, three new Brown Bags are offered -- Understanding Generations
at Work, Get to It: Getting Motivated and Balancing Work & Personal
Life. In addition, returning Brown Bag topics include Emotional
Intelligence: What is it?, Remember This (memory improvement tips), Talking
with Elderly Relatives About Difficult Issues, Creative Thinking and
Your Clutter. For a complete listing of Brown Bags and a brief description of each,
click here. If you are interested in scheduling a Brown Bag,
please call 936-8660.
Departments or workgroups that are interested in enhancing their understanding of conflict and conflict management may also request educational sessions through Mediation Services. These 1-hour sessions are also free of charge. Go to http://www.umich.edu/~mediate for descriptions of suggested courses, or call us to discuss your department’s specific needs.
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It has been
said that parenting is the worst job you’ll grow to love!
A job posting might read as follows: Dedicated, responsible, patient
and caring individual needed to work days, evenings, weekends and holidays.
Must be able to clean spaghetti off walls and ceilings, dispense medications;
prepare up to 6 meals per day, tutor in English, science and math, and
heal all wounds.
parents have to go this road pretty much alone, although they may have
family or friends who can help out occasionally. If you are
fortunate enough to have a partner sharing the responsibilities, it can
make a world of difference. If your feel your partner is not as
supportive as you would like, there are ways to encourage him or her.
idea would be to give your partner full domestic responsibility for part
of the weekend. Saturday morning is perfect-that can become
crucial “me” time. Also, one of you might consider flexing
your schedule (if your supervisor allows you to do so) so that you can
share in dropping off or picking up the children. The drive
to or from school or day care can be a remarkable time for focused conversation
and building the relationship.
Here are some other tips that experts recommend for busy two-parent families:
parenting a shared responsibility will help keep relationship ties strong
even after the children have gone off to college and beyond.
Hello Everyone! My name is Sandee Martin and I’m the newest member of the Work/Life Resource Center. I started in July as a resource and referral counselor, leaving behind corporate values & decades of long, thankless hours, to follow my passion of helping people balance their work with their lives.
While I have a teaching degree, my greatest experience for this position was a life-long journey raising my two boys. My youngest, Chris, is 21 and attending FSU. Ethan, 27, is a Chiropractor in Grand Ledge, MI. Due to a recent marriage in Valley of Fire, NV, I also have two new children - Shannon, 31, who works in Ann Arbor and Sean, 33 - and the prettiest little one-year-old, red-headed granddaughter you could ever imagine (I love being a grandma)! As a newlywed with a new career, I’m on top of the world! And I am very excited about helping my fellow U-M “family” find a good balance.
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Sally Johnson, Mediation Services
Sally first came to U-M in 1975 to complete her graduate work in Chinese history, and then decided to stay here as a staff member. Beginning in 1979, she was a consultant with, and later manager of, HRD. In 1995 she was invited to design and develop the Mediation Services program.
Sally’s career here at U-M has been focused on the climate of the academic workplace, and she is excited about programs that show promise for creating the best possible climate - such as the “Building Great Places to Work” initiative that she led last year, soon to be a new online resource for U-M staff. Away from work, Sally lives with her partner on the Huron River near Dexter, and enjoys six grandchildren, who are “pure joy.”
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"Sleep deprivation has become a major crisis," says James Maas, Ph.D., a sleep researcher and professor at Cornell University. "Sleep is perceived as a luxury, not a necessity."
Some are calling it the Silent Epidemic because 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. The National Sleep Foundation reports that most people really do need between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep nightly. The human body is designed to use sleep as a period of vital activities, including regulating the metabolic, endocrine, and immune systems among others. Although a tired brain functions, it exhibits slower response times and is demonstrably less creative and flexible in problem solving and social functioning. Everything from traffic jams to computer glitches are harder to handle when one has a 'mental blur' going, predisposing people to snarl at other drivers and snap at co-workers or family.
Scientists are finding that sleep is as crucial to health as a good diet and sufficient exercise. Research at the University of Chicago indicates that chronic short sleepers appear to age faster, and develop susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes, diseases of immune dis-regulation (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS) and possibly some forms of cancer.
And if all of this weren't enough, tired people are dangerous. One study found that people thirty to fifty who slept five hours a night had reaction times as much as 50% slower than people who were legally drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Adm. reports that 17% of Americans fall asleep at the wheel every year, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries. A landmark 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine, in Washington, D.C., reported that sleep-deprived physicians made errors that contributed to the deaths of 98,000 patients.
Not all sleep deprivation is voluntary, and it's vital to seek medical help if insomnia is robbing you of crucial sleep. Otherwise, taking the time for proper sleep is a lifestyle choice.
So, the next time you are thinking of giving up sleep to “get stuff done,” think about this - Dr. Maas has demonstrated that well-rested people get more done in less time. So to be at your best, be sure to get enough rest.
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resolutions is published in January, May and September of every year. To obtain additional information regarding our services contact FASAP/Mediation Services at (734) 936-8660.
Hospital employees may contact the M-Works EAP at 763-5409 for counseling service.