As we all know, conflict is inevitable.
In a simple way, we can define conflict as the idea of having different opinions or having some sort of disagreement between two or more parties. The important thing is not to avoid conflicts, but to be able to resolve them as effectively as possible..
Tips for dealing with day-to-day conflict
Many times we try to change the other party’s mind, explaining why we are right and why they are wrong. In reality, this is not a good approach to conflict resolution, moreover, this strategy may not be able to resolve the conflict, but only aggravate it.
The same thing happens when, instead of facing the conflict, we avoid it and pretend it doesn’t exist.
In this article I share with you 6 conflict resolution strategies or tips that I consider effective.
1. Clarify the source of the conflict
A good starting point for resolving a conflict is to be clear about its origins. Defining the cause of the conflict gives us the opportunity to understand how the problem arose and what the solutions to this problem may be. In addition, clarifying the source of the conflict allows us to reach a consensus between the two parties to determine what the disagreement is.
It is of the utmost importance that both parties have clearly identified the problem. At this stage, it is important that we get as much information as possible about the views, opinions and needs of everyone involved in the conflict. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to get this valuable information.
2. Use active listening
Active listening is a very effective conflict resolution strategy.
Provide feedback to the other party, show you are listening and avoid being judgmental. In this way, the other will feel listened to, taken into account and will have been able to express their thoughts and concerns. I also recommend that you validate your emotions with phrases like these: I understand that what you are saying has caused you discomfort or that what you are saying is understandable. This whole listening part is very important and puts us in a better position to come to an agreement.
3. Use the first person to talk about your feelings and opinions
The use of first person is one of the cornerstones of conflict resolution. In this way we will avoid guilt and take responsibility for our emotions, actions and thoughts.
Let’s take an example. When someone is late for a meeting, we can say, “Why are you late?” I had asked you for maximum punctuality. However, if we talk about our own emotions, we could say: I was very frustrated not to start the meeting at the agreed time, for me it was very important. When we are working on conflict resolution, taking charge of our emotions can make a big difference. This will prevent others from getting defensive.
4. Brainstorm to create a list of solutions
This technique is also called brainstorming. Brainstorming is a tool widely used in groups and which it allows new innovative and creative ideas to emerge time and time again. It’s about getting people to come up with ideas, and seeing them come up with them, it’s really fun. The elimination of judgment is very important. Then in a later stage, the ideas will be filtered and refined. And, of course, those that aren’t viable will be eliminated. Exploring all possible ideas as a group for a mutually beneficial outcome can lead to ideas that would not have come to us individually. Moreover, it encourages the participation of everyone involved.
5. Look for an intermediate path
The greatest conflicts arise when a mutually satisfactory solution is not found. Therefore, it will be necessary for the parties involved to think of a middle way in which both parties give up something.
In fact, if we think about it, it leads to a sort of outcome in which both sides lose. At this stage, it is important to recognize the effort made and to give way to mourning. It is also important to say that such solutions can be offered as something temporary, which it will be modified as soon as there is an alternative in which neither party will have to give up something.
6. Keep track
I think it’s important to know if the agreed strategies are working as intended by all parties. This follow-up can be via another meeting, email, call, etc. This this will give us the opportunity to make sure that neither party goes astray and will allow us to detect problems and areas for improvement.
Have you ever had to deal with a conflict that got out of hand? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.