In This Issue
Alan L. Copland
Immediate Past President
Board of Directors
Michele A. Jackson
Brian M. Wofford
Eastern North Carolina Local Program Council
Michael R. Raisig
Scott B. Bankard
Megan S. Booth-Mills
Jay T. Briley, FACHE
F. Matthew Gitzinger
Sandra J. Sackrison, FACHE
Meredith B. Sclater
Kelli P. Smith, FACHE
Lee A. Syphus, FACHE
Tips on Effective Mediation of a Dispute|
Step up when you notice that a personal conflict between two employees is starting to flare up and affect the larger group’s effectiveness. Follow these simple guidelines:
- Seek an invitation. For the most part, staffers might not appreciate having you or anyone interfere without permission. However, if they seem incapable of resolving the matter on their own, do not wait for them to ask you to intervene. Let them know up front that you have noticed a problem, and offer them the choice of solving it on their own by a certain deadline or with your assistance.
- Make it clear that you will not be taking sides. Explain in advance that you intend to be objective. Although you may speak with each employee separately, explain that you will pass along what each person tells you, to give the other person a chance to verify and also clarify.
- Pass along criticism and comments. Sharing positive remarks as well as negative comments allows each person to see the merit in the other person’s position.
- Point out miscommunication and misperceptions. The employees’ relationship may be suffering because of wrong information, invalid assumptions, misjudged intentions or incorrect conclusions. Tell them what you see, remind them of their common goals and needs and ask them to suggest solutions.
- Keep the lines of communication open. After they resolve the issue, look for or create opportunities for them to interact occasionally. Recognize and reward positive actions that contribute to open communication.
Adapted from “Change Crisis-Management Approach” Communication Briefings, November 2010; (800) 791-8699; www.briefingsmediagroup.com.