Resolution recommendations Here are some guidance notes that can assist with the smooth running of the early resolution meeting: Remember, whatever outward appearances may suggest, the other person is probably feeling as nervous about meeting you as you are about meeting him or her. Make plenty of time for the meeting – don’t rush it. Find a neutral, quiet location for the meeting – a safe space. If you are not sure, ask a manager, HR or a union rep to help you secure a venue. Be respectful and courteous to each other at all times; this is especially important if the meeting becomes a bit heated and emotionally charged. Give each other time to talk and avoid interrupting when the other person is speaking. Listen actively when the other person is talking. Use positive body language to demonstrate that you are being attentive (smiles, nods and eye contact). Ask open questions that elicit more information. Summarize back what you have heard. When you are speaking, depersonalize the situation and don’t attack the other person – talk from the ‘I’. This means starting your sentences with ‘I’ rather than ‘you’. It may be hard but try to remain objective and impartial. This will prevent you from responding in a defensive manner as you are less likely to feel ‘attacked’. Speak out and be honest about your feelings, your needs and your concerns. This is a golden opportunity to get your concerns and needs out into the open. Try, where possible, to see the situation from the other person’s point of view as well as your own. Empathy can be incredibly powerful. When you are answering questions, be open and honest. This is a key part of building trust between you. Don’t discuss the situation or the conversation with your colleagues. While being well meaning, they can sometimes inﬂame a situation. Gossip and Chinese whispers rarely assist the resolution process. Plan ahead for the resolution meeting and use this simple structure to help you say what you need to say during the conversation: – What have you observed occurring in the relationship. – Are there any relevant facts or evidence to support what you are saying? – What impact is the situation having on you and how has it made you feel? – What was/is your perception of the other person’s intentions? – What are your underlying needs, goals, hopes, fears and aspirations? – What requests would you like to make to the other person to help move the situation forward. These should be framed as a request, not a demand. Seek areas for agreement and note these down as a shared action plan. Agree when you will meet again to review progress.