How to Work as a Successful Mediator When Starting Your Business
As you advance in your career – no matter what area you might be in – you'll notice the ongoing need to diffuse situations. Emergencies happen. Scuffles take place, and as one who has been rising in the ranks, it's often your job to help settle whatever situation has taken place. This can be a disagreement among employees, a misunderstanding on an order form, some type of file that was labeled incorrectly, or any other number of instances. You never know what's going to go wrong until it has already taken place. You're on defense and offense at all times.
No matter what type of jobs you've held, that's likely a role to which you can relate.
How you handle said instances can also make a huge stance within your franchise career. Those who have learned to handle such issues with eloquence can easily move past potential setbacks, while those who have not might falter instead. It's an important balance, and one that can set the tone for how your entire business will be ran.
Mediator Best Practices
When putting out fires, it's important to remain neutral. Though it's difficult to not take an immediate side, remind yourself of this fact, especially in the beginning. You can acknowledge what was done and employees' feelings, but until all the facts are flushed out, avoid telling one person they are right or that another is wrong. This is true in personal disagreements, and when re-tracing a costly mistake.
If needed, take notes or look to the advice of someone who knows more about the subject than you do. Gathering as much info as possible will help you to better assess the situation from a well-rounded perspective.
Next, take time to calm down, especially if you're worked up. Give yourself a few hours (or a few days) to calm down so that you can properly address a situation and avoid making snap judgments.
Open clear lines of communication between all employees. This will set good habits for you to keep, and express to others that you're easy to reach as a boss. (Which means they'll be more likely to get in touch.) As the one in charge, it's a move that will set a good precedence for your employees – showing them to communicate just as effectively as you do. This is one of the best ways to lead by example.
Next, it's important to improve processes that might be causing stress or excess work. When a situation arises, you can eliminate future scenarios just by improving the very process that caused it.
Getting Better as You Go
One of the best parts about being a mediator is that you are constantly able to grow and improve your skills. You'll get better at diffusing a situation over time, which can then be used to your advantage. Embrace that fact, and use it as a positive thinking point every time you're frustrated at work. This mindset will help make you better at your job.
Looking to diffuse can also ensure that others will follow suit all on their own. After seeing how you solved a problem, they can follow in your footsteps and make sure that similar processes are taken next time around. This leads to employees who are better trained, and more valuable to your company as a whole. Besides, you'll be learning some pretty important skills along the way, too.