Research is showing that changing someone else is hard.When we walk into managing conflict, there are generally two people who are solid in their stance and changing that stance is not easy. Helping them find solid ground and “get along” is going to take some skill and finesse, but it is possible.
Start with the Right Mindset
Before you walk into this conflict and mediate a resolution, start with the mindset that all problems can be solved. Not all people will make up and hug at the end, but, if people are willing to work together, there can be a way to move forward. Enter into this situation with an open mind and be ready for a little messiness.
“Before you walk into this conflict and mediate a resolution, start with the mindset that all problems can be solved.”
Go to each person and ask them if they’d be willing to let you mediate the conflict. This sets you up as a “neutral” party. People like to have a way out of conflict. Offering to mediate is the first step to meeting that need resolve the problem.
In the simplest form of mediation, you will ask each person how they were affected by the problem and what they need to move forward. Ask them to think about what the other person might need and how they were affected as well.
Bring them together
Later, bring the two people together and have them restate what they said to you in the preconference with the strict rule that they are not allowed to interrupt each other and have to listen. They have both said what they need to move forward, and that has trained their minds to be ready for a solution.
After that, ask them if they can agree to what they each need. Ask them how those agreements will look going forward. Questioning is a great way to get people thinking and possibly move them to change a little. At this point, they are creating a picture of the future they want and will move out of that stuck place of being dug in to their own opinions.
After the mediation, follow up with each person and ask them if everything went well. They may still be doubtful, but hold them all accountable to the agreements they made with each other and keep working on it.
You’ve got this!
Keep practicing with mediating conflict. People need the chance to work through problems with each other and a third person is always helpful. Having you there will keep them honest and moving in the right direction so keep it up. If you are reading this it means you are ready to build peace in your spaces.
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