Here are the 10 key steps you will need to undertake:
- Decide on a mediator (either you, someone else in the business or an experienced external mediator) whom the parties can trust and respect and set up a face-to-face meeting with the parties involved
- Set the ground rules - remember things like confidentiality, respecting each other, allowing each other speak without interuption and separating problems from people
- Be clear about the objective - usually not to establish blame or fault but to arrive at a solution which is mutually acceptable. This is about establishing a common goal
- Establish the facts - getting both to state the issues from their perspective. Listen first, talk second!
- Identify the real problem - use questions and probing to get to any underlying issues - often what presents as the problem is really only a symptom so dig deep!
- Generate solutions - look to both parties for potential solutions. Depending on their position these might be quite opposing initially. As mediator it is your job to get to a point where there is a mutually acceptable solution
- Overcome obstacles - often you will need to bring one or each party into a side meeting to get to real truths or to overcome some stumbling block to a solution. Sometimes it is about helping them see "sense"! It also helps in understanding any deal breakers or "bottom line" positions
- Get committment - once a solution has been agreed seek commitment from both parties to an agreed course of action
- Set up support - ensure you put in place any structures necessary to support the outcome (often this is just a follow-up review meeting but could include training, coaching, counselling etc)
- Be clear about the what if - never leave the mediation session with establishing clearly what the next step is likely to be if parties fail to keep to their commitment
For more information or if you need help in resolving workplace conflict contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org