Often in our lives, we find ourselves "in the middle" of a dispute. Being able to mediate a disagreement and help others to find a reasonable solution can be a difficult task. This tutorial provides advice on handling such discussions in a productive manner.
Listen to both sides of the conflict.
Make it clear that you are there only to help them resolve the issue, not solve it for them. They must do that themselves.
Make it clear that you will be helping both sides, and make sure the people you are mediating for also want a win-win resolution.
Ask each side to tell you what they think the issue is.
Ask them the reason for why they think so. Often at this point, you may realize that the issues they are talking about are not the real problem.
Keep them talking, if those involved aren't working to resolve the conflict, you can't resolve it for them
Keep them calm. You need to be in charge, not their anger and irritation.
Once you feel that you have identified the real issue, point it out to them and ask them if they agree.
Ask each side what they would like to see happen, in order for them to feel that the issue has been resolved.
Remind them to be reasonable with each other.
Point out that generally, it does require some degree of compromise and maturity to be reasonable.
The negotiations are only at an end when both sides agree to a compromise that is fair and reasonable, do not let either side walk away unsatisfied and don't try to force an agreement that the sides aren't happy with.
Take everyone out for a beer, coffee, or ice-cream, depending on the age bracket.
You are not responsible for resolving the issue. The people involved are, even if they are children. Steer the discussion towards finding a reasonable solution on their own.
Don't pick a side, even subconsciously. Focus on a resolution that makes sense to them, not only to you.
Be patient; this might not happen over one evening. If you really care, you might have to mediate several discussions over a period of time until both parties feel that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.
Be sure how much you care, and be clear how much commitment you can make to this. Nothing is worse than walking out in the middle of the conversation and blaming them for the entire affair.
If you are mediating between two of your friends, you may find yourself in a difficult position. Be prepared for some form of emotional manipulation. Avoid being pressured into taking sides.
When mediating, you will sometimes have to explain the other side's position. Do not get too involved in this sort of explanation, it might make you seem biased or controlling, or cause one or both sides to rely on your opinion in the negotiation. If either side is unwilling to compromise or is using you as a tool to win the dispute, you may want to back out a bit or politely but firmly put the person in their place.Show both sides pro's& con's but above all be fair & truthful but remain calm.