How to Mediate Conflicts at Work

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you use the Gordon Model skills to help mediate a conflict between two team members.  You would utilize the six-step Method III process taught in the all of the Gordon Model workshops.

Pre-Step: Describe Mediation:

1. Get agreement that disputants want you to mediate their conflict.

2. Explain how mediation works, i.e. that you will be an impartial third party who will guide the disputants through a six-step conflict resolution process.

3. Describe the No-Lose Method.

4. Get commitment from both to use it to resolve the conflict.

Step 1: Define Conflict in Terms of Needs:

Ask each disputant to express his/her concerns and needs in a non-blameful way (I-Messages). You Active Listen fully and empathically to both. Then, you summarize the conflict in terms of the needs of both.

Step 2: Generate Alternative Solutions:

It’s important to remind both parties that anything goes in terms of ideas—and there is no evaluation of any idea.  If one or both start to, use I-language to remind them that evaluation is the next step, not here in Step 2.

Step 3: Evaluate Solutions:

After completing Step 2 list of solutions, record evaluation of each solution’s potential for meeting both (all) parties stated needs.

Step 4: Choose Best Solution:

There could be one solution or a combination of one or two of them.

Step 5: Plan Implementation:

Who does what by when?

Step 6: Check Results:

Have parties set a time to check how the solution is working for both or have them wait and see if solution obviously worked.

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