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Mediate Conflicts While Preserving Individuality

July 15, 1999
Related Topics: Featured Article
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Conflicts are a part of life, but you can help ease them. Here are some suggestions for doing so:

  • Set up a meeting to discuss the conflict. Don't try to build Rome in a day here; just get the parties talking.
  • Have the parties reintroduce themselves to each other. Reminding each other of their background and credentials helps to restore trust. Have them explain their business approach--what they believe to be the tools, techniques and strategy key to their success.
  • Ask for examples. Instruct each person to give examples of how the other party's behavior led to conflict and affected them. For example: "I don't think it was such a good idea to criticize my project as you did. I would have preferred you did it this way ..."
  • Help them find common ground. Different personalities and working styles can mesh. Talk about the way to make things work next time around.
  • Help guide solutions that will help the parties gain back their credibility around the office. They may learn to understand each other, but it's important other people understand them, too.

SOURCE: Personnel Decisions International (PDI), Minneapolis, June 24, 1999.

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