Guest Contributor - Kari Heistad
Use a Mediator to Help Stalemates
A referee’s job requires them to be an impartial expert on the game, clear headed, and capable of fairly applying the rules. During games, it would be impossible for coaches, players, and fans to make unbiased calls without a referee.
Similarly, in high-pressure work environments, differences between colleagues may lead to disputes that make it impossible for them to see past their biases, resulting in a conflict or stalemate.
In these instances, asking for the assistance of a “referee” or a neutral, third party colleague, may provide the necessary insight to tease out the cause of the miscommunication, which could be rooted in cultural, generational, or personality style differences.
- Who serves as the role of referee on our team? How do they help when conflicts arise?
- Think of a current issue our team or department is facing. What are ways we can help each other to approach this matter from a more neutral perspective?
- Can you think of a time when having a referee for the team would have been helpful? Who could we have turned to for assistance?
- What are the qualities of a good referee? How can we use these same qualities to help each other overcome stalemates?