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How to Effectively Mediate a Conflict


A business that is full of conflict can't be successful. Animosity will mean an atmosphere of distrust and a decrease in productivity. You can really give your business a leg up when you resolve any conflicts that arise quickly. Here is a set process that will ensure that you are addressing each conflict in the best way possible. The first thing you need to do is set up the scene before negotiations start. There needs to be a sense of mutual respect and nice behavior for people to be able to open up to new ideas. The problem (not individuals) should be the focus of the discussions. You need to show that you are listening carefully to each person's interests. You also need to show that you are shutting down an avenue of resolution without thoughtful consideration. You can understand people better and show that you are listening when you rephrase what people are saying.


The next step is to gather information. You need to work past the position someone is taking to figure out what they actually need or believe. You won't be able to do this if you aren't being objective and putting yourself in their shoes. You will run into problems if you try to solve too many issues at once. Keep the issue concise. Try to imagine the situation from the person's point of view and see how it is effecting him. Starting sentences with "you" can often make the other person defensive. Instead, try starting sentences with "I" to show that you are thinking about your actions instead of someone else's. Make sure everyone gets a chance to clarify their own feelings.


Next you need to make sure everyone is on the same page in regards to what the problem is. You won't reach a solution if the problem isn't identified. Identifying the problem can help people to see that we are all working towards the same goal. See this definition: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Conflict+resolution.


Conflict resolution can help everyone feel like part of the solution if you have a brainstorming session. At the beginning of the session, you need to gather all the ideas you can and make sure everyone feels included. This means that you aren't going to get rid of any ideas, just keep adding more. Don't stop to evaluate any of them, just keep adding more. People will stop thinking about new ideas if you stop too long on one. You should make a list of every idea, and someone besides the person listing them should be in charge of editing them. You should gather as much input as you can get. You should be as creative as possible, because you never know what is going to prompt the idea that turns into the actual solution.



It is only time to negotiate when everyone has stated their position and understands the other positions. You can achieve long term goals when everyone feels safe and understood.