Conflict Resolution Techniques

Some conflict resolution techniques will help with what is an inevitable part of life.  We come across conflict in all aspects of our life:  work, marriage, family, shopping, etc. 

You can have a conflict within yourself, such as wanting to save for a new car but also wanting to go on a vacation.

When you're working with someone else, you might have a conflict on how you view a project.  You might want the project done a certain way, but your coworker or spouse might have a different idea.

You could be the person that wants to spend many hours all at once to finish a project and get it off of your "to do" list.  If this is how you work, it's your way of coping with the many tasks that need to get done. 

Or, you could prefer to spread all the work out over time so that you can focus on other projects as well.  This is a different way to manage your tasks throughout the day.

Both of these work ethics can get the job done.  But, it could be frustrating when the person you're working with is the opposite of you.  This is where you need to find a happy medium that satisfies both of you.

Conflict resolution strategies are important skills to learn to help you resolve these differences.  When you learn how to deal with these differences, it strengthens relationships and you will more likely succeed in completing the work that needs to be done.

Conflict Resolution Techniques

Try the following conflict resolution techniques to resolve differences and build good leadership skills:

  • When you force someone to do what you want, it will only cause more problems later.  Both of you will only get angry at each other and nothing gets done.  You might be thinking that "she never does this" or "he always does that."  Those type of statements only put them on the defensive. Instead, you should start your sentences out with "I feel that you're not interested in contributing to this project."  This puts everything on your shoulders without blaming the other person.  And, you're more likely to come up with a solution to the problem.

  • When you come across a conflict, you know exactly how you want to solve it, but the other person might have a different solution.  Make sure that you both compromise on a solution that benefits both of you rather than coming up with one that satisfies only one of you.

  • You might have a conflict with your coworker, spouse, teammate or sibling that has nothing to do with the project you're working on.  Make sure you find out what the real issue is.  Sometimes your conflict could be your attitude toward something not even related to the project that causes the problem.   So, find out all the facts before deciding on a resolution.  If you make a hasty decision before finding out all the facts, it could cause more harm than good.

  • Tell the person you're working with, what the problem is.  Don't expect them to guess.  Be aware there is a problem.  For some people, an issue can be a major problem and for others it's not.  It's important to acknowledge that fact.  Try to work out a conflict resolution as soon as possible.  Otherwise, whatever the issue is, it will fester and grow.

  • You don't want to attack the other person's personality. This only puts them on the defensive.  You both get mad at each other and nothing gets done.  Make sure you set the time aside to discuss the behaviors or circumstances that have caused the conflict between you and your coworker or spouse.  When you are talking about the problem, do not focus on your attitude towards them.  If their personality irks you and you don't like them or you think they could do no wrong, you will need to put those thoughts aside and just work on the problem at hand.

  • After you have reached a compromise and both of you are happy with the outcome, then you need to forgive them as well as admit that you made a mistake.  Leave your differences about the conflict behind you.behind you.   Then move on.

When you're resolving any differences you might have with the above conflict resolution techniques, be sure to set up guidelines that both of you will follow. 

Remember to tell them, in a calm manner, how and why you think the project should be done and to understand your coworkers' or spouses' viewpoint.  If one or both of you don't follow these guidelines right away, then you need to make time to discuss any problems as soon as possible.

What if you're an outside party to the conflict?  You might be someone that gets dragged into the situation because they need help.  In this case, you're acting as a third party mediator. 

You can use the same conflict resolution techniques and get the viewpoints of both people.  Let both of them talk about their perspectives on the issue.  After they've talked, then share your thoughts and observations with them.  This will help both of them discuss the issue that's causing the conflict.

If a decision is required by you, then use your good leadership skills and make it as soon as all the facts have been reviewed.  If you don't, then it could reflect poorly on you.  The decision may not be agreeable to all parties, but people can move on from there.

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