Tools and Resources For Mediating Conflict
Sometimes you may need to bring in assistance to help manage a conflict. Perhaps you feel that you are not a neutral party in the situation and so an external mediator would be better. Perhaps you’ve tried to resolve the situation but struggled to bring everyone to a sustainable agreement. Either way, it is a sign of good leadership to know when to ask for help and when to defer to others who have a stronger skillset in a certain area.
There are a number of resources you can draw on – both within and outside of your place of work – to help mediate a conflict.
Human Resources department – if you are not an HR professional yourself, the likelihood is that someone from your HR department has the skills and experience to advise or support you with mediating conflict.
Ombudsman – an Ombudsman is an independent and impartial industry body who will investigate a situation where a complaint has been badly handled or where an organization has failed to resolve a complaint against it. The Ombudsman service is free of charge and they will assess all sides of the issue and make recommendations on how to resolve it.
A panel of neutral peers – it may be appropriate to invite other team members or suitable individuals who are neutral in the situation to come and offer their insights on how the conflict could be resolved. Expanding the issue from an interpersonal realm into a collective problem to be solved can create space around it and allow the parties involved to feel supported and to refocus on the bigger picture.
Conflict coaches – individual coaching for the parties involved in the conflict can not only help to resolve the present situation, but can also equip and empower the individuals to avoid or resolve conflict in the future.
Dispute Resolution Centers (DRC) – a DRC is an independent non-profit organization that offers accessible and high-quality conflict resolution services within a local area.
Professional mediators – neutral and external professionals can be incredibly helpful and efficient in mediating a complex or highly charged conflict situation.
Training organizations – it may be that case the additional training can support you in mediating present and future conflicts, or support the people involved to communicate and negotiate more effectively and prevent further conflict from arising.