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5 things essential to know to resolve a conflict

In the earliest days of human existence, conflicts were physical in nature and now it is more and more emotional. We live in an invisible field of emotional forces that influence our behavior. Sometimes they drive us towards conflict. Emotions cannot be, shouldn’t be suppressed. As humans, we’re cannot avoid emotions. What we can do is change our perspective. We must stop looking at a conflict as me versus you or us versus them problem. The following 5 things will help you better understand ways to tackle conflict whether at home or at work. 

Let conflict happen

Sometimes you are witness to a conflict brewing in front of you and you may wonder whether you should let it happen or prevent it. Does an idealistic perspective always suggest that conflicts must be prevented but is it really beneficial? Conflict isn’t bad but how conflict is conducted is harmful. Rather than preventing a conflict, you can try assisting both parties to express themselves. You can help them prepare for the confrontation, engage, find a resolution, and ultimately heal from it.

Read the book to learn more – Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution

Enter conflict in the right spirit

When you get into a conflict it’s important to enter with your heart in the right place. A conflict of whatever nature is not an act of force but an invitation to two or more parties to put forth their point of view. Having your heart free from hatred and seeing the other person as another human being with hopes, dreams and fears help resolve conflict better.

Read the book to learn more – The Anatomy of Peace

The story behind the conflict

Being a mediator for high voltage conflict you’re sure to end up with a few blows. During these events try to figure out the understory behind the conflict. There’s always a reason why a conflict has reached this stage. Once this investigation is done you will know the real reason behind the problem and also come closer to solving the issue. Further, there’s always a chance for miscommunication in these conflicts so you could paraphrase the words of both parties regularly to make them understand each other.

Read the book to learn more – High Conflict

Asking the right questions

Asking the right questions in the right manner can help you get through some difficult conversations. Asking questions out of genuine interest draws people out, it empowers them and helps them speak their minds. Conflicts often end in a stalemate because both parties are more interested in telling a story, rather than listening to the other person.

Read the book to learn more – Humble Inquiry

Mirroring

When faced with a stubborn opponent in a conflict, do not try to win the battle instead look to discover what is the root of his struggle. Be like a mirror, a reflection to his emotions, his words. Let him feel that he’s been heard and understood. This requires you to be emotionally open and intellectually fluid. In these moments it helps to lose temporarily the focus on oneself and become the other person. Adopt your opponent’s personality to better understand his views and beliefs. 

Read the book to learn more – Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

We live a shallow world of relationships. Therefore our conflicts and disagreements are often shallow. The only way to be better together is to build exceptional relationships based on trust, vulnerability, and honesty. Conflict is often a blame game. Instead of finding the shortcomings in others, focus on your own shortcomings and see how your actions or words can help others. Building authentic relationships is essential for constructive disagreements.

Feel free to share any strategies that work for you to reduce conflict at info@work2.org.

Originally posted at Work 2.0