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Chapter 10. Monkey in the Middle: Mediat... > Deciding When to Step In—Whose Banan... - Pg. 97

97 Chapter 10. Monkey in the Middle: Mediation and Arbitration In This Chapter · The difference between mediation and arbitration · When you should NOT be directly involved · How to use the mediation process · When to step in Here's the situation. Bob and Terry report to you. Bob and Terry seem to be like oil and water. If Bob says white, Terry says black. If Terry says the earth is round, Bob says the earth is flat. They argue publicly and interfere with each other's work. Except for these clashes with each other, both are decent workers. It's like two monkeys heaving bananas at each other--and the bystanders are getting showered by the pieces. What's your responsibility here? How do you go about addressing the situation? What sets this scenario apart from others we have talked about so far is that you are not the target for either Bob or Terry. In this chapter we're going to look at two tools, mediation and arbitration, that you can use (and sometimes must use) to address ongoing conflict between two employees. Deciding When to Step In--Whose Banana Is It? As with most difficult situations, your first step is to apply the reality check principle we've talked about. Ask yourself whether the conflict between Bob and Terry is one that deserves or requires action on your part. Start with the consequences of the conflict and the difficult behavior connected to it: · Is the conflict affecting the work output of Bob and Terry? · If you do nothing, what's likely to happen? · Is the difficult behavior a small annoyance or is it having an effect on others in the workplace?