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Chapter 4. Why Me, Lord, Why Me?—The Man... > It's in Your Self-Interest - Pg. 42

Why Me, Lord, Why Me?--The Manager's Burden Mediation refers to a process in which a third party works with two people who are in conflict or cannot settle an issue themselves, and helps them come to an agreement. With mild difficult situations, managers often mediate in an informal unstructured way. In more complex situations, sometimes an outside mediator is best, because mediation is a fairly complex process. 42 The reason we've talked so much about the extra burdens of management is to help you develop a particular mind-set about difficult people in your workplace. Dealing effectively with difficult people isn't an option, it is a responsibility of management. But it's more than a moral issue, or what's right or wrong. There are direct links to your willingness to address difficult people problems and your own self-interest. Ultimately, though, you have to choose, and you have to make informed choices about how you deal with difficult people. So read this next sentence carefully. When you avoid dealing with difficult people or deny there is a problem when there really is one, you are the one who is going to pay the price. You will be held accountable if difficult people affect the productivity of your work unit. You will be held accountable by the courts if you fail to take action in certain domains such as sexual harass- ment. Employees will blame you if you do nothing in the face of difficult behaviors among the people who report to you. None of this is going to help your career or your sanity. It can even affect whether you keep your job. This Won't Work!