7 quick ways to resolve conflict
Managing and resolving conflict requires the ability to quickly reduce stress and bring your emotions into balance. You can ensure that the process is ...
Managing and resolving conflict requires the ability to quickly reduce stress and bring your emotions into balance. You can ensure that the process is as positive as possible by sticking to the following guidelines: Don't avoid conflicts all together: People feel that avoiding argument is less stressful route to its resolution but this usually causes more stress to both as tensions rise, resentments fester and eventually result in bigger argument. Listen for what is felt as well as said: When we listen we connect more deeply to our own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening also strengthens us, informs us, and makes it easier for others to hear us when it's our turn to speak.
Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or "being right": Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than "winning" the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.
Avoid stonewalling. When one person becomes silent and stops responding to the other, frustration and anger can result. Positive results can only be attained with two way communication. Stonewalling solves nothing, but creates hard feelings and damages relationships. It's much better to listen and discuss things in a respectful manner.
Don't be defensive: Defensive people often deny any wrongdoing and try to avoid looking at the possibility that they could be contributing to a problem. Denying responsibility may seem to alleviate stress in the short run, but creates long-term problems. The other person feels that he is not listened to and unresolved conflict continue to grow.
No blame Game: People handle conflict by criticising and blaming the other person for the situation. They see admitting any weakness on their own part as a weakening of their credibility, and avoid and even try to shame them for being "at fault." Instead, try to view conflict as an opportunity to analyze the situation objectively, assess the needs of both parties and come up with a solution that helps you both.
Don't read between the lines: Instead of asking about their thoughts and feelings, people sometimes decide that they "know" what others are thinking and feeling based only on faulty interpretations of their actions--and always assumes it's negative. This creates hostility and misunderstandings. It's important to keep in mind that we all come from a unique perspective and work hard to assume nothing; really listen to the other person and let them explain where they are coming from. Focus on the present: If you're holding on to grudges based on past resentments, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.
Pick your battles: Conflicts can be draining, so it's important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you don't want to surrender a parking space if you've been circling for 15 minutes, but if there are dozens of empty spots, arguing over a single space isn't worth it.
Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you're unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives. Know when to let something go. If you can't come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.
Rules that help for fair resolution:
- Remain calm. Try not to overreact to difficult situations. By remaining calm it will be more likely that others will consider your viewpoint.
- Be specific about what is bothering you. Vague complaints are hard to work on.
- Express feelings in words, not actions. Telling someone directly and honestly how you feel can be a very powerful form of communication. If you start to feel so angry or upset that you feel you may lose control, take a "time out" and do something to help yourself feel steadier.
- Deal with only one issue at a time. Don't introduce other topics until each is fully discussed.
- No personal attacks. Attacking areas of personal sensitivity creates an atmosphere of distrust, anger, and vulnerability.
- Avoid accusations. Accusations will cause others to defend themselves. Instead, talk about how someone's actions made you feel
- Don't generalise. Avoid words like "never" or "always." Such generalizations are usually
- Stick with the facts and your honest feelings.
- Don't stockpile. Storing up lots of grievances and hurt feelings over time is counterproductive. It's almost impossible to deal with numerous old problems for which interpretations may differ. Try to deal with problems as they arise.
Great relationships develop not from the absence of conflict, but from determining an agreeable pattern for how to resolve conflict. Defining the rules of engagement for how you "fight" with someone you care about is ultimately much more important than trying to never have a disagreement. Good luck.