Disputes happen at work. Then what?

The dispute could be a serious one between an employee and the company, or a spat between two employees over rosters or a prized parking space. In any case, as a manager, you are involved and may be called on to mediate a solution.

Note that when mediating, you are not there to make a judgement or impose a solution. Mediation is focussed on what happens going forward, not on who was right or wrong in the past.

Any successful mediation results from an increased understanding by each person of the underlying interests and desires of the other person. So ask good questions to facilitate this.

Here are questions to ask… “What is the positive outcome you want from this?” and make sure the answer really is positively framed. After you have an answer, ask “Why do you want this positive outcome?” or “What do you think you will get from this that is important to you?”

Keeping things in the positive results in each party starting to see merit in the underlying interests and purpose of the other party.

For more ideas on what mediators do, click here.

My best wishes, Paul
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