Investigate the situation

Take time to find out what has happened, who is involved, how people are feeling, and what the issues are. Don’t pre-judge the issue or jump to conclusions. Speak individually and confidentially to those involved and listen actively to make sure you understand their point of view. This can be checked by summarising what they have said and reflecting it back to them. Try to identify any underlying causes of conflict which may not be immediately obvious. For example, a member of staff may be in apparent conflict with colleagues, while the root cause is their perception that a supervisor is treating them unfairly. Be aware that those involved may have differing perceptions of the same situation. Avoid being pulled into the middle of the argument and taking sides.

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