Sharon Sampson Ball

Sharon focuses on providing mediation services relevant to the challenges of human resource management and was employed by the State of Maryland in the area of human resources for over 36 years — in both the Executive and Judicial branches.She says, “As a senior executive human resources professional, I (along with my team) was frequently the first responder to workplace conflicts. It has been my professional philosophy that because interrelationships between individuals and work units within the workplace often remain after a conflict has been addressed, it is critical to the good health of the larger organization that damages to these relationships be minimized and, ideally, enhanced. Given this perspective, I would attempt to facilitate discussions between individuals and/or work units as well as coach the respective administrator, director, manager, supervisor, etc. in order to resolve a conflict at the lowest possible level.In the human resources sub-discipline of employer-employee relations, matters involving disputes are generally handled through a formal grievance or disciplinary appeal process that results in a decision imposed on the parties by an arbiter. By contrast and in hindsight, I now realize that my approach to conflict resolution mirrored the transformative mediation model. It is a highly valuable and effective alternative to the formal fact-finding method because of its reliance on getting to the underlying nature of a conflict and it provides several sustainable benefits, including the empowerment of the respective parties, enhanced understanding of the other side, clarity by all parties about the underlying causes of the disagreement and the opportunity for disputants to solve their conflict.”