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Some companies hire someone to work specifically as a liaison while others expect their other employees to step into the role when necessary. Overall, the main purpose of a liaison is to serve as a mediator between two parties. It is important for a liaison to work as a neutral party without taking sides, which can be a challenge if you are a regular employee serving in liaison duties at your job.
Listen to both sides of the story completely before offering help to either party. If you only focus on one side or one part of the story, you won't be able to serve as an effective liaison because you are likely to form biases.
Ask questions about the problem for which you are serving as liaison. If it deals with a particular aspect of your company, you need to be familiar with that aspect to do your job well.
Forget about the position of each person with whom you are dealing. For instance, if you are serving as liaison between your boss and a coworker on your level, put aside the fact that one party is the boss. Both people deserve your respect and undivided attention, but neither deserve favoritism.
Organize a solution after you have heard both sides and considered the particulars of the problem. Present that solution to both parties and ask for their input in adjusting the solution to best meet the needs of both parties.
Make a decision if the parties can't agree on something, especially if the issue must be resolved promptly. In the business world, some decisions require a quick response and as a liaison, you are in the position to make one to the best of your ability if you can't help the parties agree.
Assign clear directives to each party so the matter can be resolved. A good liaison can not only help solve the problem, but help prevent new problems from arising by telling both parties what they must each do in the future.
Set aside your personal biases toward or against either party with which you are working. Avoid allowing the work of acting as liaison to cause you to neglect your own responsibilities, especially if liaison isn't your official title.
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania: Liaison Program
- Occupational Therapy and Physical Dysfunction: Principles, Skills and Practice; Ann Turner et al.
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