Dealing with Conflicts with Difficult Personalities Through Mediation

Mediation has turned out to be a more sought-after method of resolving workplace conflicts. However, when there are high-conflict personalities involved in the conflicts, more planning and preparation is necessary to facilitate a successful outcome. Also, it requires the involvement of an unbiased and expert mediator who can carry out everything seamlessly.

Workplace disputes are common, while some get resolved easily by the involved parties or by management interventions, others become quite difficult to tackle and mediation becomes one of the most appealing techniques to get such disputes resolved. What makes mediation a popular conflict resolution method is it is quick, confidential, and empowering to employees. However, in cases of a high-conflict workplace, one needs to implement mediation with proper planning and take the help of professional mediators; else it might make one or more employees vulnerable to abusive behavior by higher authorities or another employee with high-conflict personality.

Often high conflict workplace disputes occur when there is a bullying manager or when co-workers have personal conflicts or when an employee becomes rude towards higher authorities or the entire organization. When such a dispute continues for a long period, then there may be one or more people with high conflict personalities involved. Such personalities often attract conflicts and if they are in a higher position then they might also misuse their power to prove themselves right. In general, a high conflict personality has four main characteristics – Blaming others for everything, All or nothing solutions, unmanaged emotions and extreme behaviors. However, with adequate support and skills training, people with high conflict personalities can change and make the workplace ambiance friendly.

The steps to achieve the same include:

Providing Skills to the Workgroup

As high conflict persons have been tolerated for a long time at the workplace and have affected the entire workgroup, it can be helpful to provide the entire workgroup with basic conflict resolution skills training. Such training will help all the employees to learn to deal with issues within and outside the workgroup that may include calming upset people, writing brief and friendly emails, and setting limits with compassion. Besides that employees can use these skills in their personal lives as well for resolving disputes.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Mediation is the best and ultimate way to achieve positive outcomes even in a high-conflict workplace. But it is necessary to involve an unbiased third-party with experience in resolving conflicts with mediation and negotiation. When an unbiased mediator is involved the process becomes completely neutral. No party will have an advantage over the other party. All the parties will be listened to individually then there will be a confidential meeting where both parties and the mediator will be involved. In the confidential meeting, the mediator allows both parties to share their perceptions about the conflict and their expectations. Then after considering both perceptions the mediator negotiates with each party and finds out a solution that is beneficial for the both. Hence, mediation and conflict resolution always go successful.

So if you want to resolve conflict at your workplace where high conflict personalities are involved, contact a good and reputable mediator without a second thought.

Author Information:

This article is written by Michael Gregory Consulting LLC. Mike is a reputable and internationally acclaimed mediator with years of experience in using mediation for conflict resolutions. For more information visit