Our Core Services: Consultation

Consultation — Exploring alternatives for addressing workplace problems

A consultation is a confidential conversation, either by phone or in person, between a staff or faculty member and a mediator/consultant about how to handle a work-related concern.  

Questions you may have about consultations:

  1. Why request a consultation? 
  2. How confidential is it? 
  3. What kinds of problems can a consultation help with? 
  4. What happens during a consultation? 
  5. Who decides what to do? 
  6. What is the best way to schedule a consultation?  

1. Why request a consultation? 

You might wish to request a consultation

  • if you work at the University,
  • have a work-related concern,
  • and want to privately explore alternatives for addressing the concern.

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2. How confidential is it?

No name-based record of the consultation conversation is kept.  You do not even have to give us your name. 

All information discussed at the consultation will be kept confidential UNLESS

  • you choose to tell others or direct the consultant to tell others, or
  • the consultant becomes aware that someone might be in physical danger, experiencing illegal harassment, or engaging in serious criminal activity. In that case, the consultant will make every effort to keep you informed of any report she makes and protect your privacy if at all possible.

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3. What kinds of problems can a consultation help with?

Nearly any work-related concern can be discussed at a consultation. Typically, concerns involve matters such as differences or disagreements, poor communication, tension caused by the workload or work environment, unclear division of work responsibilities, or disciplinary measures.

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4. What happens during a consultation?

You describe your work situation and concern to the consultant. Then, together, you explore possible options for dealing with the problem. These options often include:

  • Strategies you can use at work to resolve the problem yourself
  • Getting help from other University resources, such as the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, the Office of Institutional Equity, or your Human Resources representatives
  • Having the consultant obtain information or talk to someone for you
  • Taking part in mediation

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5. Who decides what to do?

It is up to you, not the consultant/mediator, to decide what if any action to take to deal with the problem.

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6. What is the best way to schedule a consultation?

We will work with you to find a time for the consultation that is convenient for you.  There are several ways to reach Mediation Services to schedule a consultation:

  • Call 734-615-4789
  • Send an e-mail message to mediation.services@umich.edu
  • Send a request through our online inquiry form

    Please make sure to let us know how you would like us to contact you, and whether or not it is okay for us to leave a message on your answering machine/voicemail (if applicable).

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