Why is it important to solve conflicts in our business and how?
In every company, small or big we get confronted with conflicts; that is quite a natural occurrence. Conflicts should be solved otherwise you are taking a huge risk of escalation through a rising stress level of one or more parties.
Some companies do not know how to solve internal problems and through unknowingness and fear they intent to brush the situation under the carpet so to speak.
That process is very destructive and sooner or later the company could get into internal trouble and rough climate between the colleges.
Mediation is an instrument for solving and viewing conflicts in the early stages. The base condition to implement the mediation technique is the open mind set of all involved.
In the mediation all people involved are getting together usually with the team leader or boss, on a special occasion, day and time.
The classical five phase model of the mediation is as followed:
- Initial talk (rules and regulations of the talk, would mediation help in this case, maybe a contract can be refined.)
- Collection of themes (pointers, which need to be talked about, most important first.)
- Interest of both parties (one after the other can demonstrate, explain and give opinions towards the case, involves feelings and needs behind the conflict, where did it come from, what was the trigger…)
- Solution finding (creative solutions, in both parties interest.)
- Final Compromise or Solution (realistic and agreeable solution for this case for both parties.)
Main criteria for a professional mediation are:
- Everyone involved let everyone talk
- Active listening
- Transparency, any changes need to be openly displayed
Supervision has one main difference to the mediation and that is that in a supervision you have a supervisor. The supervisor is usually a person outside the company. Supervisors need to have an academic scholarship or a proven consultancy degree.
Supervision is conceptional, foundational, practical orientated and is based on advises.
The company is paying the supervisor and is planning the time, date, event(s) and number of participants to a specific conflict (internally based).
The supervisor needs to be totally loyal and passive towards taking sides.
Sometimes companies hire a supervisor for 3-10 meeting sessions; sometimes a supervisor is hired as a regular supervisor for a certain length of time.
We differ between case supervision and not case supervision. The not case supervisions are very effective to keep the team motivated and to enhance the fair play in a company.
There are three typed of supervisions
- One and one type (supervisand and supervisor)
- Group-supervision (6-12 supervisands and the supervisor)
- Team Supervision (team and supervisor)
There is one other concept a company can use to avoid conflicts between teams or team members and that is the InterVision.
The InterVision is based on the college-based-commitment to solve problems.
The colleges get together and discuss the case. There is a specific structure though in how this meeting needs to be held.
- Election of a Moderator (passive position)
- Discussion about the specific case, everyone involved can talk and is integrated OR the person with the problem only talks and describes the case
- Collection of Information
- Collection of Solutions
- A few minutes thinking and silence
- Final Solution or compromise, feedback and a “thank you” to all involved
Conditions for an InterVision are:
-accepting of the moderator from all involves
-complete and full description of the case, openness and trustworthiness
-phases of thinking and solution forming
-openness and willingness of all involved
-discretion and respect of all involved
-finding a satisfied solution or an acceptance for all involved of a compromise to work with
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Sarah Mc Donagh