As managers for our career education institutions we sometimes find ourselves mediating conflict among members of our faculty and staff. Conflict does not have to be negative or undermining if we manage it in such a way that it accentuates the skills, experience and diversity of our employees, But that is, of course, easier said than done.
Here are a few initial ground rules that may help to create an environment where the resulting effect of conflict is positive:
Create and maintain an environment of confidentiality, impartiality and respect
Proactively listen to all points of view
Allow for mutual input and collaboration - sometimes an idea for resolution will come from the table that is different from any ideas initially presented
Communicate ground rules
Allow buy-in so that participants take ownership of solutions and action plans
Effective mediation of employee issues begins with these and other foundational precepts that help ensure positive and accepted outcomes - and hence improved performance.