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Our mediation team can help University staff members improve their working relationships with colleagues.

Mediation is a confidential and informal way for two or more University staff members to openly and honestly discuss the situation and come up with a way forward to suit all. It can help in different situations at the University of Leeds, including:

  • issues between colleagues
  • issues between staff and a manager
  • issues within teams

If you are considering using our mediation service, please visit our Mediation FAQs and Step by Step Mediation Guide.

How does Mediation work?

Mediation works by:

  • Using trained and impartial professionals
  • Providing a neutral and comfortable setting
  • Encouraging open and honest communication
  • Focusing on the future
  • Working towards rebuilding working relationships
  • Exploration of possible solutions to suit all

The role of the mediator is to facilitate discussions in order to identify the issues and find a mutually agreeable way to move forward.

Mediators are impartial and will not takes sides, and they are not legal advisers. Neither will they advise on the merits of agreements made or on the benefits of any other course of action.

Our mediators can also offer advice for individuals and managers on how to approach difficult conversations that concern conflicts between colleagues.

Mediation is voluntary. You can decide not to continue at any point during the process. If you approach us to discuss the possibility of mediation, there is no obligation to take it up. Likewise, if we have contacted you because someone wants you to take part in mediation, it’s up to you whether to accept or not.

What can Mediation be used for?

Mediation can be used to address a range of issues including:

  • Communication difficulties
  • Personality clashes
  • Breakdown of working relationships
  • Bullying and harassment

Mediation may not be suitable in the following situations:

  • Academic disputes
  • Issues of process
  • Performance management
  • If a person is particularly vulnerable or fragile
  • If a person is completely uncompromising or inflexible

If you’re unsure as to whether mediation is suitable, please email the mediation co-ordinator. Every case is different and it may be down to the co-ordinator or mediators to make a judgement.

When can Mediation be used?

Mediation is more likely to be successful if it is used at an early stage. We would therefore encourage you to use mediation as a first course of action if issues have not been resolved by parties talking to each other or their manager.

Mediation cannot take place, however, if there are any ongoing formal procedures e.g. complaint or grievance.  It can be used after formal procedures have concluded to rebuild relationships.