As with any relationship, there may come a time where emotions are kicked into high gear due to an issue that has evolved. Addressing and resolving the issue as soon as possible is essential to maintaining a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Here are some useful conflict resolution tips to help aid you in your discussion:
- Ideally, issues should be discussed in person as they are important and merit a face-to-face meeting. This allows both people to address the issue in “real time” and increases the chances that it can be resolved at a faster pace. Written communication all too often can be misinterpreted and lead to further escalation of the issue.
- If an issue can not be easily resolved, one idea is to consider introducing an unbiased mediator to the situation. Sometimes having a third party hear both sides of the story can help in making headway with the issue.
- Once the issue has been resolved, both parties should look back on it as a learning experience. Sometimes a conflict provides the perfect opportunity to reintroduce ground rules and clearly discuss expectations and outcomes of the relationship.
While many people try to avoid conflict at all costs, dealing with an issue between a mentor and mentee can sometimes help to strengthen and solidify the relationship if the issue is rectified in a positive manner.
We like to share mentoring success stories at the Over My Shoulder Foundation, and you will often hear them address conflict resolution within their relationships. Please contact us to learn more about our organization and our passion for the mentoring relationship.
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