Bonita G. Para, MS, Mediator
Serving Broward, Palm Beach & Miami Dade Counties

Friday, April 12, 2013


What is the Peter Principle? The idea that people get promoted in the hierarchy until they reach their level of incompetency. 
My experience tells me that most conflict in the workplace remains unresolved due to a lack of conflict resolution competency in the managerial hierarchy. 
People get promoted based on the skill they show in their current positions and the expectations that they will perform just as well or better in an elevated position. However, in most cases with promotions come the expectations that supervisors or managers will have all the skill it takes to deal with anything job related in their pay grade.  This is not true! The most overlooked skill in promoting  is an ability to resolve conflict among staff.
If you have ever worked under a boss who is conflict averse, this is the Peter Principle in action. I will bet there has been unresolved conflict among the staff. Conflict may be a result of interpersonal conflict, poor communication, unmet expectations, poor work product, lack of accountability, lack of systems or processes or numerous other causes. 
My experience as a mediator tells me the best run companies train their managers from the top down to address conflict before it spreads through the staff. When conflict is chronic, is not addressed, escalates or  tactics are used to punish staff unfairly, this indicates the Peter Principle to its fullest. You can read the book, "The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong" by Peter and Hull.

What is your experience in the workplace with The Peter Principle? This is a public blog, so be judicious in choosing your words. I will delete postings that name names.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eldercare Mediation

As your parents age, what problems are you facing? Is it medical decisions, care giver issues, family feuding, sibling rivalry, financial decisions, taking away the car keys? All these and many more issues plague families who are suddenly dealing with issues around Mom and Dad growing old. Check out my website at: for the information you need to help you get helpful resources. Click on the "Resources" tab for links to agencies that can help you. In the meantime, please let us know what issues or problems you are facing with your aging Mom or Dad. Please post a comment and I will try to help you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 2012 "Mediation News"

Welcome to “Mediation News”.
We will include timely articles about the practice of mediation and sometimes, non-identifiable anecdotes and “war stories” from our own practice areas of Elder/Adult Family, Workplace Conflict/Employment and Cohabitation/Divorce mediation.

We hope you will find this information useful and educational. 

Please submit your comment(s) at the bottom of the post; we value your opinions and thoughts on the subject

This Month’s “Words of Wisdom”:
“Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.” -M. Esther Harding

In this edition:
  1.   Workplace War Story: “A Reality Check for the General Manager”
  2. What is elder mediation--and what's in it for the client and the attorney?
   Click on the "read more" link below to access the articles.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hollywood, Florida Budget Crunch

Chime in on the best way to address the issues facing the City of Hollywood. They are trying to negotiate wage and benefit cuts with three unions. What can they do?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Parent/Teen Mediation

Teens often struggle to make life choices and establish their separate identities as they mature. As parents we know this can create immeasurable angst and strain family ties. Parent/teen mediation can bring parents and teens together in an environment that encourages and supports communication and balances power which is often the barrier to parent/teen communication. Mediation allows people to communicate, negotiate and craft agreements that are mutually acceptable. Some of the common sources of dispute between parents and teens according to North Star Youth Court and Youth Mediation in Fairbanks, AK, are: 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Conflict question: How do you think Bin Laden's death will affect the war on terrorism?

I believe that there are many who want to take his place. Hopefully, the in-fighting will weaken Al Qaeda, but we will have to see.

The culture of terrorism is difficult for the Western world to understand and I believe this has been the downfall of countries now fighting it. Until the world powers understand that they have to go beyond taking defensive measures against terrorism, we will continue to have to walk through metal detectors, be sniffed by bomb detecting dogs and be living in a dangerous world.

The covert operation that killed Bin Laden is more the type of operation that terrorists can understand. It was secretive as they are and used the utmost force and determination as they do. Hopefully, this show of an in kind tactic will send a strong message to terrorists the world over that the United States will no longer just defend itself from their abuse, but will use powerful offensive tactics to undermine them and destroy this scourge on humanity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011