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  • Mediating Disputes

    The Retail Florist

    In many flower shops, employees are great friends who often enjoy working with you and each other. That makes for a very pleasant work environment.

    But even the friendliest workplaces aren't always perfect. Disputes are inevitable. Some disputes are easily resolved with a quick conversation. Others, if not handled properly, can fester and grow.

    As the shop owner or manager, you are responsible for mediating conflicts among your staff and bringing accord back into the business as quickly as possible.

    The next time you mediate a dispute, consider the following tips:

    • Search for the real problem. Ask each employee to present his or her side of the disagreement. Find out why the employees disagree and what they have done to remedy the situation. Insist on the facts only.
    • Listen patiently. Don't interrupt when employees are telling their sides of the story, and don't allow them to interrupt one another. Take notes of the session.
    • Keep it simple. Don't invite potential troublemakers to the mediation session. If a third party can shed light on the situation, speak to that person privately.
    • Make a fair, informed decision. After carefully weighing the information you gathered, help the parties establish a process that will allow them to deal with their conflict amicably, safely, and professionally. Make suggestions, but also ask for their opinions.

    Resolving the conflict doesn't mean the opponents will "like" each other again. It does mean that both parties have been acknowledged and that you are working to find the best solution.



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