The Basics of Workplace Conflict Mediation

In October 12, 2017
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Traditionally speaking, Human Resources are usually viewed as a liaison between management and the workers. However, conflicts between employees are also very common — and when this occurs, HR departments are usually called upon to mediate.

If you are an employer who finds yourself called upon to play a conflict-resolution role, you may be feeling rather overwhelmed. Fortunately, the art of workplace mediation is well-studied, and there are many time-tested tips out there for you to follow. Though the task of conflict management is never easy, it can be extremely rewarding — and the following tricks can help you make it through.

Keep Calm and Carry On. When emotions are running high, it’s easy to become emotional yourself — even as a third party. Remember to separate yourself from the situation and keep your wits about you in order to manage the situation effectively.

Practice Active Listening. Pay very close attention to everything that is said, and be sure to repeat important statements in your replies. This helps communicate an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding that can be contagious.

Focus attention on identifying problems and finding solutions. Not only is this a practical approach, it also helps deflect attention from individuals — which is almost always a harmful practice.

Focus on the future, not the past. There is no changing what has already been done — and when dialogues begin focusing on the past, the conversation tends to take an accusatory tone very quickly.

Be creative. As an objective third party, you have a fresh perspective on the situation that can be used to find creative solutions that both parties may be happy with. (And nine times out of ten, this is the ideal outcome in conflict resolution.)

Be confident. If you want to have any hope of resolving a conflict, you need to play a leadership role in the conversation. If you find this challenging, the old catchphrase fake it til you make it may come in handy!

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