I came across a great post the other day that talked about the “art” of positive reframing. It really is an art – practised where the listener restates a negative statement made by another person in a more positive way, without changing the meaning.

Why is this important? Well, it helps the other person to appreciate that you have listened and understood them and encourages them to appreciate how others may view things. It also shifts the focus from people to behaviours. To stop things from “getting personal” is essential.

At work, leaders and managers today need to know what to do when workplace relations break down in this way. Mediation can ensure conflicts arising are managed well. For this to happen, positive reframing is a vital tool – mediation then becomes even more effective in not only unblocking obstacles but also in making real change happen.

A key characteristic of mediation is “flexibility” – and as mediators we too need to resolve to show the flexibility to keep on listening and learning in our daily work – and positively reframe our conversations whenever necessary.

Caroline Sheridan, Chair, Workplace and Employment CMC group and Founder of Sheridan Resolutions