Dear Dr. Mimi:
Two of my colleagues are in the middle of a dispute, and since I know both participants well, I feel like I’m getting in the middle of things.
They both have some legitimate issues and are blaming each other for the situation. I am constantly hearing each side of the argument, and I don’t know how to help! What can I do?
Your concerns are valid, and taking sides is definitely not the way to go. It is more important to resolve the situation than to place blame. If you take sides, you risk alienating one of the individuals and appearing biased to all involved. Encourage both parties to talk about how they feel and to come to a resolution together. If you or someone else can serve as a mediator with both of them in the same room, that can help. If you know the individuals well, you may be able frame the issues to encourage
compromise, collaboration and resolution.