When I’m mediating, one of the many things that keeps me on my toes is helping the parties to map out all of the factors that led to the escalation of their conflict.
👉🏾 INTERNAL FACTORS: Was someone having a bad day? Running on no sleep? Stressed out about something unrelated?
👉🏾 EXTERNAL FACTORS: Was a lack of resources at play? A lack of clarity about roles or objectives? Were tight deadlines part of the mix?
👉🏾 THE DYNAMIC: What dynamic did the parties become locked into? Was it tit for tat? One-upping? Stonewalling?
Unpacking these factors generally turns up the heat in the discussion, which needs to be managed… but it’s well worth the work involved because this is what allows us to then move onto the second question – How could they have dealt with each of these factors better?
And that’s where the magic starts to happen :)
The great news is that you don’t need a mediator to do this if you find yourself in a conflict at work (or in any setting for that matter). Many issues can be resolved using this technique and a bit patience, vulnerability, and understanding.