Resolving Conflict between two people

Escalated conflict between individuals is costly and painful. Consequently, Thera Rising works with pairs in a private setting to rebuild trust. Thera Rising has a proven history of turning resentment into a shared responsibility for the future, regardless if the tension is between two executives or two front-line employees.

Step 1: Overview

The facilitator, together with both individuals, meets to discuss steps and confidentiality. We explain that Thera Rising does not share the content of their discussions without their permission, and this process is separate from performance management. At this meeting we schedule ample time to address their concerns and questions.

Step 2: The facilitator prepares each individual alone for a face-to-face meeting

Working with each individual alone, the facilitator gathers background information about roles, processes, and interdependencies. We ask Person A to tell the history of their relationship with Person B from the beginning. Together we identify situations where they were unsuccessful in resolving a disagreement or concern. Next we outline how he or she will “Open the Dialogue” on the three most critical issues. We repeat this process with Person B.

Step 3: Structured conversation results in written, future-oriented agreements

Under the guidance of the facilitator, Person A and B meet. After setting ground rules, Person A presents one of his or her concerns – speaking to the facts without embellishing or assuming – then asks for Person B’s assistance in understanding their behavior. Person A states a preference for different behavior in the future, and offers a reciprocal change in his or her own behavior. We record their agreements, then repeat these steps with Person B. We alternate between the two individuals until all issues have been addressed.

Agreements are future-oriented, very specific, and include what each individual will do if the agreements begin to fail. The facilitator schedules follow-up with each person.

About the Facilitator

Headquartered in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, President Anna Maravelas, Psychologist Emeritus, has successfully resolved more than 300 workplace conflicts and authored, “How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress” and “Creating a Drama-Free Workplace” (New Wheel • Weiser • Career Press). Discover why the New York Times named her “The best source on workplace tension and mistrust.”


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