Conflict is often a part of the workplace, and it cannot be easy to navigate. However, it’s possible to mediate these disagreements with the right tools and techniques to lead to a resolution.

What is employee mediation?

Employee mediation is a process through which employees can attempt to resolve workplace disputes. This type of mediation is typically voluntary, and it often takes place before an official complaint is filed. Employee mediation aims to help both parties reach an acceptable resolution for everyone involved.

Steps to take in conflict mediation

The first step in any mediation is to establish ground rules. Both parties should agree to participate in the process, and they should be willing to listen to each other’s perspectives. It’s also essential to set a time limit for the mediation so that it doesn’t drag on forever.

Next, each party will have a chance to state their case. It’s important to let each person speak without interruption and avoid making assumptions about what they will say. After each party has had a chance to speak, the mediator will help them identify areas of agreement and disagreement.

Once the areas of disagreement have been identified, the parties will brainstorm possible solutions. The mediator will help facilitate this process, and they will also make sure that all options are fair and reasonable.

Finally, the parties will choose a solution with which they can both live. Once a resolution has been reached, it’s essential to follow up and make sure that everyone is happy with the outcome.

Tips for finding a resolution

There are many different conflict resolution strategies, and the best one for you will depend on the situation. However, here are a few tips that can help you find a resolution:

1 Clarify the cause of the conflict
It’s essential to take a step back and understand what is causing the conflict. Often, there can be more than one issue at play, and it’s essential to identify all of them. By understanding the root cause of the conflict, you can develop a plan to address it.

2 Listen actively
To find a resolution, it’s essential to listen to what the other person is saying. This means hearing the words and trying to understand the feelings and needs behind them. Active listening can be difficult, but it’s essential for conflict resolution.

3 Investigate the situation
If you’re not sure what’s causing the conflict, it can be helpful to investigate the situation. This might involve talking to other people involved or looking at documents or other evidence.

4 Be tactful
It’s important to avoid coming across as confrontational or aggressive. Instead, try to be discreet and understanding. This will help the other person feel more comfortable opening up and talking about the issue.

5 Focus on the future
When trying to resolve a conflict, it’s essential to focus on the future. This means not dwelling on who is right or wrong, but instead focusing on what can be done to improve the situation.

6 Offer multiple solutions
If you have more than one idea for how to resolve the conflict, share them. This way, the other person can choose the solution that they’re most comfortable with. When individuals have more than one good decision, they will feel more like you are attempting to help. They will also feel more empowered.

7 Evaluate how things are going
As you’re going through the conflict resolution process, take a step back and assess how things are going. If the situation gets worse, it might be time to seek professional help.

Conclusion

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean it has to damage relationships or productivity. With a little bit of effort and guidance, you can mediate conflict in your office and find resolutions that work for everyone involved. These tips are just a starting point, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what works best for your team.

Randy Gardner, Weir Consult