Monkey in the Middle: Mediation and Arbitration 104 Tasks and Roles of the Manager-as-Mediator Dr. Conflict suggests there are a number of primary tasks that fall to the manager-as-mediator. First, he says that the moderator needs to prevent withdrawal. That means the facilitator must exercise influence to keep the parties present and keep them from copping out or becoming less attentive or committed to the dialogue. Second, the mediator-manager is responsible for ensuring that conciliatory gestures or statements of voluntary vulnerability are not ignored or punished by the other party. What the heck does that mean? Dr. Conflict defines conciliatory gestures as the "magic of mediation." They refer to statements made by one party that indicate the person is opening up or allowing himself to be more vulnerable. Conciliatory gestures indicate movement of position to a more cooperative stance. They include apologizing, taking responsibility, expressing positive feelings, and other similar expressions. Because this is so important, let's look at the examples Dr. Conflict uses: · Apologizing:"I'm sorry that my comments in the staff meeting embarrassed you." Employee Handbook