Our reader poll today asks: When mediating conflict where the parties simply will never agree, what do you do?
- Tell them pointedly you don’t see a solution and that they should each go their own direction 24.85%
- Work even harder to find a middle ground. There has to be something to do! 34.25%
- Call for assistance from a more skilled mediator 30.90%
- Hope they see it’s an intractable situation and decide to end things on their own 10.00%
Call it quits or call for help? About 35% of you hope to end these situations either by you forcing that conversation or hoping the participants realize it’s intractable. The other 65% are inclined to continue mediating or getting help with the mediation. What’s most important in these situations is knowing the difference between difficult and truly irreconcilable. Many times imposing an interim deadline for some progress can help drive action one way or the other. If the parties can agree on something of smaller stakes in the shorter term, there’s hope for a broader deal. But if they can’t even agree on small things when pressed for time, the hopes of a big agreement seem dim and they likely need to seek alternate resolution.
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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.