23 Aug Somewhere in the Middle – Mediation Steps for Leaders
The truth is somewhere in the middle.
It’s always somewhere in the middle of any mess we find. It’s like the saying, ‘two sides to every story’, except the truth is usually somewhere in the middle of those two sides because our interpretation is always based on our emotions or feeling at any given time.
So what do you do when you have this kind of discontent among your team, or a ‘he said/she said’ kind of situation? Conflict resolution is a broad term used to explain dispute resolution and encompasses the variety of methods or systems you can engage to resolve the conflict. For example, you can negotiate conflict. This is where the conflicting parties solve their own problem by talking about their concerns, wants, and needs face to face. Negotiation allows the disputants ultimate control over the process and the resolution, but can also prove difficult if one or both parties are there to compete and win not resolve or compromise.
Another method is mediation, where you engage a third party who is impartial ( an important distinction) and they help you identify the issues and work towards a resolution that is mutually acceptable. With mediation, the disputants are not in control of the process itself but do maintain primary responsibility for the resolution of their conflict. It’s also called Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR.
As a leader conflict is likely to present each day in some form or another. How far you allow the conflict to progress is up to you, but if and when you get involved mediation is a good solid approach. Here is a very basic outline of the process of mediation, which incidentally can be dated back to the 1970’s and credited to the United States.