How to Effectively Mediate a Conflict
A business that is full of conflict can’t be successful. Underlying animosity means that people don’t trust each other or work productively. Being able to identify and resolve conflicts effectively will make the difference in making your business successful or not. The process of resolving conflicts is the same no matter what the conflict is. First you need to set the scene for the negotiations to happen. In order for people to open up to new ideas, they need to feel safe and respected. You need to make sure the discussion is focused on the actual problem and isn’t focused on the individuals as people. Each person needs to feel like they are being listened to. You also need to show that you are shutting down an avenue of resolution without thoughtful consideration. You need to understand people and they need to feel heard, and the best way to do both is by rephrasing what you are hearing.
The next step is to gather information. Underneath every person’s position, you will find a deeper need or desire that needs to be understood and met. To find out what their real concerns are, you have to be objective and think from their point of view. You will run into problems if you try to solve too many issues at once. Be concise and simple. You need to show that you understand how the situation is affecting the parties involved. Starting sentences with “you” can often make the other person defensive. Using “I” instead of “you” will help everyone feel more comfortable. Make sure everyone gets a chance to clarify their own feelings.
Why People Think Options Are A Good Idea
Once you have set up the negotiations and listened, you need to make sure that the problem is clearly identified as the same with everyone. You won’t reach a solution if the problem isn’t identified. It is a very important step in conflict resolution to show that everyone knows what the problem is and everyone is essentially working towards the same end goal.
You can help everyone feel like part of the solution if you have a brainstorming session. At the beginning of the session, you need to gather all the ideas you can and make sure everyone feels included. Only add ideas, don’t get rid of any, during this stage. Don’t stop to evaluate any of them, just keep adding more. Stopping too long on one will kill the creativity of thinking of new ideas. Someone should make the list of ideas and then someone else should edit them. You should gather as much input as you can get. The real solution may be the product of a silly idea, so be open.
It is only time to negotiate when everyone has stated their position and understands the other positions. Making sure everyone feels safe will go a long way to reaching a solution.