Learn excellent skills for controlling respectful exchanges and facilitating solutions.
Alex and Sam are in dispute. Alex is incensed that Sam has rewritten her press releases. Sam argues that she is not putting in the correct information as per company policy. Carol is called in to try and resolve their clash but uses a game show technique to work on the ‘resolution’ – but soon loses patience. A busy Marcus steps in, offers a limited time and asks Alex and Sam in turn to respectfully listen to each other and give their side of the story. He listens actively for what’s behind their assertions, asking each to come up with a solution to the problem that respects the other’s needs (and area of expertise). Marcus controls the discussion – who is talking at any one time and what is being covered. He summarizes a position that is largely acceptable to both. He then asks them to write a statement (which he will review) acknowledging the other’s problem with the issue and detailing how each will go about minimizing the potential for conflict in future. Alex and Sam quietly (but slightly grudgingly) agree to this.Key Learning Points
People in conflict have stopped listening. Mediators actively listen to overcome blocks.
MEDIATE FOR RESOLUTION
Don’t take sides and assume
INSTEAD: Listen supportively to both parties
Don’t allow emotions to escalate
INSTEAD: Control respectful exchanges
Don’t bulldoze with your opinions
INSTEAD: Use questions to clarify and summarize
Don’t leave problems unresolved
INSTEAD: Facilitate solutions and agree actions
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