Posts Tagged ‘Conflict Resolution’

Conflict Resolution

May 16, 2017

Everyone faces conflict in varying degrees at some point in life. Because conflict happens in any relationship, including those at work and at home, no one is immune to its complexities. How we choose to deal with conflict is unique, as everyone brings his or her own personality and experiences to these difficulties.

CONFLICT DEFINED

A conflict is a difference of opinions, priorities, or perspectives, whether friendly or hostile. Because people react differently to conflict, the situation may be difficult to assess. Those who view conflict as a threat usually experience anxiety and stress, and those who see it as an opportunity for growth can overcome it and even benefit from conflict.

CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE

One environment where conflict is common is in the workplace. We spend the bulk of our time there and often can’t choose our co-workers. Since conflict is inevitable, there are real benefits to improving your resolution skills. Some of the paybacks include improved relationships, a smoother working environment, fewer delays in production, increased communication, and improved health as tension symptoms decrease. The following strategies will help you in your workplace conflict resolution:

  • Tackle potential conflict – If you sense tension in the workplace, take a proactive stance. Calmly confront the other individual with honesty. This could prevent a future blowup from occurring.
  • Choose your battles – Not every little item is worth the conflict. Knowing when to let things slide and when to take action about conflict makes for a more success work environment.
  • See growth in conflict – Being able to resolve conflict in relationships is a sign of maturity. Try viewing conflict, at work or home, as an opportunity for growth instead of something to be avoided.

TAKE ACTION THROUGH LISTENING

The following tips demonstrate how to resolve conflict with listening skills:

  • Listen actively – Active listening aims to understand the thoughts, feelings, and emotions behind what the other person is saying.
  • Acknowledge the message – You don’t have to agree with the other person to respect and validate their opinion. Recognize their value as a fellow human being and affirm the importance of their beliefs.
  • Know your message – Before you respond, consider your own emotions and thoughts about the situation in conflict.
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Conflict Guidelines

October 23, 2014

The next time you find yourself in a conflict, remember these guidelines:

Try to stay calm. If you don’t overreact, people are more likely to consider your viewpoint. If you start to feel like you may lose control, take a time-out and remove yourself from the situation. Take a walk, practice deep breathing, or do something that can help you to feel in control again.

Be specific. When it comes to talking about what’s bothering you, vague complaints aren’t useful. State the problem clearly and stick to the facts. Don’t get caught up in the symptoms of the problems instead of the actual issue.

Don’t get too personal. Personally attacking the other person creates an atmosphere of distrust, anger, and vulnerability. This environment is not optimal for working through issues and can make problems worse.

One thing at a time. Make sure that the first issue is fully discussed and resolved before bringing up new topics or complaints.

Don’t hold grudges. Bringing up old grievances or letting hurt feelings build up over time is not productive, especially if they don’t belong in a particular argument. Don’t let old grudges steer your discussion off course. Instead, deal with problems as they arise.

Avoid accusations. They can cause the other person to get defensive rather than trying to understand what you have to say. Instead, talk about how the other person’s actions made you feel. Try saying something like, “I feel angry when…” instead of, “You always make me angry when…”.

Change perspectives. Try to see the problem through the other person’s eyes. Invite them to share their point of view, and don’t interrupt. You may not agree with their viewpoint, but it can still make sense to you.

Set a time limit. Attention spans are notoriously short. Dragging out a discussion rarely helps to reach a resolution. It just wears you out and can lead to saying something you’ll regret. If the conflict is not resolved in 30 minutes, continue it later.

Be willing to compromise. There may not be a perfect solution that pleases everyone. Instead, work to find common ground in which both people feel like their concerns are being heard and needs are addressed.