What is the RESOLVE Model?

The structure

The structure of the RESOLVE model recognises that the issue of managing difficult conversations requires:

- Specific communication skills;
- A degree of emotional intelligence;
- Understanding the context in which the conversation has arisen;
- Working knowledge of the ‘communication process

The principles

The RESOLVE model serves two key principles:

- To save businesses and organisations money;
- To maintain, and ultimately to improve, work-based relationships

Why use the RESOLVE model?

RESOLVE is orientated around work-based scenarios where a problem or issue has arisen, a change is required, a person’s performance is not as good as expected, or a working relationship is not as productive as it could be - either between two separate individuals (e.g. a manager and a member of staff) or two or more members of a team.

It is not orientated towards the delivery of ‘bad’ or unfortunate news, such as a trauma or bereavement – there are other models available that are more suitable for this particular circumstance.

Offering a fair approach to difficult situations

Complex and difficult work-based conflicts can be resolved by formal investigations, mediation, or other structured processes such as tribunals or occasionally, through a judicial process. RESOLVE, as a concept, sits right at the start of these sorts of cases, well before they get out of hand: it offers the opportunity for managers at all levels to manage a difficult conversation in a fair, meaningful and robust way so that situations do not escalate to the point where more formal and structured interventions are required.