Conflict is a serious disagreement, argument, and incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests that require addressing the issue with the appropriate individuals and channels for resolution. Conflict is a natural and unavoidable aspect of every ongoing relationship, and it is a sign of change, new understanding, improved communication or an opportunity for growth.
Healthy responses to conflict require; capacity to recognize important matters, readiness to forgive and forget, ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing and a resolution supports the interests of both parties. Managing conflicts require tactics and employing several approaches to prevent potential obstacles, use the following tips to become a conflict resolution expert:
Manage Emotions to Relieve Stress
Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. Understanding how you feel and why you feel that way is important to communicate effectively and smooth over disagreements. Do not isolate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear, but understand it without fear to handle resolutions for strictly rational conflicts without bias.
Relax, focus and control yourself to avoid the emotional conflict in challenging situations. Use a neutral calming language and neutral point of view to plan how you are going to work with both parties to achieve resolution.
Listen to Understand
Listening is the strength that connects people needs and emotions. Listen to people reasons for being upset and make sure you understand both parties point of view. Repeat the person’s words, ask for clarity, and ask if anything remains unspoken, giving the person time to think before answering.
Utilize Neutral language
Inflammatory language such as profanity, name-calling, and exaggerations is the most common cause of conflict escalation. Attacking people verbally creates defensive and angry opponents, which direct the conflict away from the original problem. Robert Bacal in his book “Imperfect Phrases for Relationships” suggest restating inflammatory language more objectively to help make the information less emotionally laden and more useful for future discussions.”
Clarify the Problem
Understanding the conflict is the key to solving it. Clarifying the issue will help the mediator to; prioritize the range of the conflict, identify the impacts of the conflict, identify the root causes of the conflict to determine appropriate responses, assess the nature of relationships among partners, their willingness and ability to negotiate with each other, and build where possible, rapport among partners.
Address the Present
People tend to remember what bothers them, and in conflicts, they dwell on the past and take positions. Move past positions because it leads to an impasse. Take ownership of the conflict, recognize the problem regardless of the past, and create a plan to address the present conflict and the future impact.
Finding a resolution to the problem that satisfies everyone requires creativity and hard work. People have different lifestyles and values, which make discussing their differences critical in managing conflict. You must develop a balanced plan to satisfy everyone’s interests. Be careful and specific while offering a resolution to avoid any ambiguous terms that might interpret differently.
Keep it confidential
Confidentiality is crucial in managing conflicts. Releasing the conflict information might result in grave consequences including complicating the situation, damaging to professional reputations, and violence. Have an open dialog with concerned partners about conviviality, address the possible risks of strangers escalating the conflict, and fuels the rumor mill.