Conferencing is a process that helps a group of individuals to manage their own relationships in the wake of conflict. It involves a formally structured conversation between colleagues who are affected by conflict in the workplace.
That conflict may be:
a) The result of some harmful act about which there is no dispute, and/or
b) Associated with many unresolved disputes between individuals, and/or groups in the workplace.
Whether there is no dispute, or there are many disputes, the Conferencing format enables everyone affected to consider:
- What happened,
- How each of them has been affected, and
- What might be done to improve the situation.
Conferencing is consistent with principles of deliberative democracy. Everyone affected by the conflict is:
- Encouraged to attend (participation);
- Given an equal opportunity to speak (equity); and
- Entitled to have issues they raise discussed adequately (deliberation)