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12 Dispute Mediation Techniques for Managers

When different people work together there are high chances that there will be differences in opinion. These differences sometimes lead to disputes among teams which a manager has to handle wisely because he is at the top position and has the authority to guide and correct his team members.

A manager has to try his level best that any personal interests do not affect the job performance of the employees. Making collaboration easy should be the ultimate objective of the manager so that productivity can be increased.

This article will provide twelve techniques used by the best managers of the world for mediating disputes inside the firm. These techniques are:

1-           Expedite transparent communication

It is always easier to mediate disputes when we know the perspectives of both the parties involved. If we are only aware of one side of the picture and do not look at the other side, things will not become clear and disputes can never be resolved. A smart manager is the one who listens fairly to both parties and makes it easier for them to share whatever they want openly, without any barriers. This is the common practice in renowned firms that they let employees speak freely and give full freedom to them. If the manager listens to both parties, things can get be controlled before the dispute reaches its peak point.

2-           Use the right words

Research shows that the top managers are very selective with their words when mediating a dispute. They know the power of words and they make full use of it. They usually say things like “I think you are feeling…” or “In my opinion, you feel…”. These types of phrases help the other person to open up at a professional as well as personal level. When members of the team open up in front of the manager, it helps him in resolving issues in a better way. This ultimately helps in creating a bond among the team as well.

3-           Give enough time to speak

Smart managers give enough time to each party for sharing their points of view. They strategically handle the situation in which both the parties are summoned and each is given enough time to say what they want. Boundaries are set such that one party speaks at a time and the other party is strictly forbidden to speak in the middle. This uninterrupted speaking time lets the manager understand the issue in a better way. If the other party interrupts, the dispute is likely to start again and this can result in a deadlock situation. After hearing both parties out, the manager then comes to a conclusion.

4-           Stay impartial and provide reasoning

One thing is clear, that when the final decision is taken, the manager will be taking the side of one party over the other, otherwise, the dispute will never be resolved. Managers go through such kind of situations in their work-life and they understand what is better for the firm. Thus, they are expected to make sound decisions by keeping in view the objective and productivity of the firm besides employee morale and team collaboration. Whenever smart managers take any decision, they make sure to provide a good reason, in the end, to satisfy their employees and eliminate the chances of any type of favoritism.

5-           Reduce the intensity of a conflict

The manager cannot change the disagreements but he can create a culture in which every employee is ready to listen to the other employee’s point of view without showing aggressive behavior. For instance, a software development company strictly forbids its employees to show aggressive body language to the other employees. It makes sure that employees are having eye contact while communication and aggressive gestures are noted that affect the performance evaluation of the employees.

6-           Setting up a respectful work culture

A manager can show by his behavior that how disagreements can actually be healthy as well. When a manager is having a disagreement with another manager, he should seek it as an opportunity to learn the case from the other’s perspective. However, if he does not agree with the other person, he should show respect for his views. This will develop a healthy work culture in which employees will learn to respect each other.

7-           Teach employees to have a positive approach

Managers usually teach their employees about behaviors and work ethics as a part of their training sessions. Well-experienced managers teach this thing in every session so that they can develop a highly collaborative team. The employees are taught to stay away from negative assumptions about other employees. They are taught to think that every person is trying his level best to work for the objectives of the firm and that they have to help each other in meeting those objectives.

8-           Having a solution-focused conversation

Mangers should tell both parties that personal attack is not forgiven and make sure that the conversation is solution-focused. Both parties should only speak about the problem and the behavior inside the firm.

9-           Asking relevant questions

An ideal manager listens to both parties and then asks relevant questions. The questions are to-the-point and help in coming to the conclusion without wasting any time.

10-         Creating a win-win solution

There are three main things in which conflicts usually occur. These include roles, responsibilities, and goals. Roles and responsibilities are already set in the job description. However, the goals can be adjusted in a way that every employee can reap the benefits.

11-         Let employees resolve issues themselves

Managers should create a culture in which employees have a good bond with each other and they can resolve their issues themselves. However, if the disputes are sensitive, the manager should take action right away.

12-         Engaging the team

If the disputes are occurring with respect to work, it is the duty of the manager to get the work done on time. He should make sure that every employee is fully engaged in doing the tasks on time. He can also use some motivational strategies for the timely completion of tasks so that disputes are avoided.


Arslan Hassan

Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions. MORE >

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