What should you do as a manager if you are faced with a conflict situation?

People with a management role at UNIL must:


  • Adopt appropriate behaviour towards their students, subordinates or colleagues;
  • Ensure that their students, subordinates and colleagues behave appropriately and respectfully towards each other;
  • Communicate to their students, subordinates and colleagues the prevention measures and intervention procedures established at UNIL to prevent conflicts;
  • Stop any inappropriate behaviour in a working or study relationship;
  • Approach the Advice and Mediation Office to offer assistance to any member of the university community who asks for support.

What should you do in your management role?


1. Clarify the situation

Ask pertinent questions during a meeting with the person or persons concerned, to establish what has happened, who has caused it, where, since when, etc. This will help you to clarify the situation without turning it into an interrogation.


2. Create a dialogue

Listen to the parties involved in the conflict actively, attentively and respectfully.


3. Record the main information

Take notes and write down what happened, when and where the situation occurred, the context in which it took place and who was present. These notes will be useful and allow you to refer to concrete facts when it comes to resolving the conflict.


4. Formalise a solution

Work with the parties involved to find a solution

Contact the Advice and Mediation Office

The Advice and Mediation Office was set up by the Rectorate but is independent of it; it advises members of the university community in all situations involving conflict or harassment. As a line manager, you can offer a mediation service through the Advice and Mediation Office if you are aware of relationship difficulties in your team.


The Advice and Mediation Office can:


  • Initial meeting

The mediator has an initial confidential conversation with the person who requests the meeting, analyses the situation they describe and works closely with them to discuss and examine the support available and their possible options, including mediation.


  • Mediation

Mediation is a process of creating and re-establishing social relationships and managing conflicts (either on a preventive basis or to settle a dispute), based on the partners acting autonomously, in which an impartial, independent third party without the power to make a decision (the mediator) helps to re-establish communications or resolve the conflict in the interests of all the partners involved, by organising confidential mediation sessions.



Advice and Mediation Office

Amphipôle building, office 200.11

Luc Wenger, mediator: +41 (0)79 240 42 46, contact.mediation@unil.ch

Raymonde Richter, mediator: +41 (0)79 643 24 16, rr@etuderichter.ch

Consider other measures
  • Individual or team coaching

Individual or team coaching can be set up at the suggestion of a line manager. If applicable, the UNIL Rectorate will decide on the principle and terms of the coaching arrangements.


  • Relationship audit

A relationship audit can be carried out in an entity at the suggestion of a line manager and subject to the agreement of the Rectorate, in order to:

  • Carry out a detailed examination of the working environment in a team that is struggling with relationship, organisational or managerial difficulties that are adversely affecting its operation or its members’ motivation and/or threatening the health of staff or their managers;
  • Produce a summary of the conflict situation;
  • Propose solutions.