Conflicts can be complicated. They can arise from differences in personalities, beliefs, opinions, and expectations; miscommunication, misunderstanding, and confusion; or controversy. It is best practice to work with your admin team to develop a conflict mediation strategy and processes at the start to minimize, manage, and resolve conflicts consistently and constructively. Consider potential conflict situations, agree on the mediation process, and prepare clear responses ahead of time to help your team manage disputes as they arise.
We recommend that you encourage your members to hold each other accountable, and help to monitor and report any arguments to the admin team early so that you can take action to minimise the impact of a conflict situation.
When conflicts do occur, it is best practice for admins to step in quickly to calm the members, ease the tension, and prevent the situation from deteriorating. Consider the following steps when mediating a conflict:
- Remind the members of the community rules – what behavior is unacceptable and the consequences of such behavior;
- Gather information to identify the source or cause of conflict, and understand why the conflict has occurred;
- Listen carefully without judgement and biases to understand each member’s point of view;
- Work with the involved members to resolve the issue, and remind them how they can positively interact with each other.
It is a good idea to adjust group settings to allow only admins to send messages temporarily. This will allow you to control the conversation, and allow the time for the discussion and members to calm down while you consider your next steps.