Conflict is something that is unavoidable in life. And, conflict resolution is often stressful and sometimes frustrating. Conflict arises from differences and differing needs. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires.
When conflict is mismanaged, it can harm relationships. But when conflict resolution is handled in a respectful and positive way, it can provide an opportunity for growth, resulting in a stronger bond between you and the people with whom you were in conflict. Try these conflict resolution tips to make it a more positive and less stressful event.
Recognize That We Have Choices In How We Handle Ourselves and our affairs. We can make a conscious choice how we want to respond we conflict arises.
Get Control Your Emotions. Never try to resolve a conflict when one of you is angry. Take a time out or agree to meet at a later time. If you need to vent did with a friend or someone else not involved in the current conflict. When discussing the conflict with the other side keep your emotions in check. Avoid put downs or name calling because these things can escalate a conflict and you want to prevent that from happening.
Focus On The Future. You can't change the past. Figure out who's to blame never resolved anything. Nor is figuring out who is right. See diagram below. Resolutions always are future oriented. It is always about how things will be done differently in the future. Be constructive. Concentrate on what you want, not what you don't want.
What do you see in this picture? Is it a profile of a young and beautiful lady, or do you see an old witch with huge and ugly nose? People looking at this picture have described both. Who is right? Does it matter?
Recognize Both Sides' Needs. Whenever we are confronted by a conflict, we have three sets of needs to be negotiated:
Substantive needs have to do with the content of the conflict. It is often the problem that we feel needs to be resolved.
Procedural needs involve the process of addressing these substantive needs. One example is ground rules which provide a process that can help ensure that all sides feel included and involved in a meaningful way.
Psychological needs are usually the whys. They motivate what we want. They are powerful influences in our decision making processes. Some examples are respect, acknowledgement, control, security, or empowerment.
In any dispute, all three types of needs are present and must be addressed. . If we are going to really try to build a meaningful agreement, we will need to understand how these various needs are present for each person in the situation.
Acknowledge the Validity of Both Sides' Needs. If the other person feels like you are acknowledging them and understanding them, then they will be much more likely to collaborate with you and work with you throughout the conflict resolution process. It is important to acknowledge that both parties' needs play important roles in the long-term success of most relationships, and each deserves respect and consideration.
Be As Objective As You Can. Make it a point to avoid assumptions, speculation and rumors by being as objective as you possibly can. You should aim to rely on your own personal experiences and observations or on what can be verified independently through documentation, evidence or credible witnesses. As you communicate with the other person, focus on and speak to their behaviors rather than your interpretation of their behaviors.
Give Them A Chance To Speak. Don't interrupt. Remember people don't need to get their way so much as they need to be heard and understood. When people get a chance to say what is on their mind, they experience what psychologists call catharsis (or cleansing). This cleansing helps to lower emotional energy and pave the way for a more productive dialogue
Use a Structured or Formalized Process For Hot Topics. If you have to have an interaction based on a hot topic, it is best to follow a structured process. Spontaneous discussions on these issues tend to lead to blowups whether intentional or not. If you make use of a process that is formalized, mediated or planned, you will be better able to focus your communications and defuse the tensions.
Keep Trying. If One Solution Does Not Get Results, Try Another.
If you can't resolve the conflict no matter how hard you try, agree to disagree. Realize that conflict doesn't have to end your relationship. People can get along even when they disagree.
If you need to reach agreement, get help. There are a variety of mediation and conflict resolution resources available in your company and community.
To learn more about resolving conflict, click on any of the links below.