Conflict Resolution Simplified

Conflict Resolution SimplifiedNobody really enjoys conflict and we often go out of our way to avoid it as most are not comfortable with conflict and conflict resolution. Conflict is unavoidable and that is a good thing as it is actually necessary in order to learn, to grow, and to evolve.

I used to be horrible when it came to dealing with conflict and my idea of conflict resolution meant that if anything were wrong then it would just go away if you ignore it. Just sweep it under the rug… wrong. Now I see conflict as a stepping-stone to understanding not only other people but also myself.

Conflict Resolution Simplified

Conflict resolution is not too difficult as there are only a few key points to remember and while these points might not help to solve every conflict that you might encounter – they will make handling conflict and conflict resolution an easier process to navigate.

To get the bottom of any conflict… talk less and listen more; and by listen I don’t mean to just endure what the other person is saying while you are thinking of an overpowering comeback in order to “win” the discussion or to prove your point. Listen. Listen. Listen.

When you listen, what you might hear is the actual solution to the problem, and even easier than that, is that sometimes an entire situation can be diffused when the other person feels they have been listened to. Listening is always the first and most powerful step in all conflict resolution and often times it IS the resolution.

In your job, your relationships, or in your life do you react to conflict or do you take a moment or two in order to breathe and think before engaging? After listening during a conflict, taking your time to choose to respond rather than react is always more productive and though it might not solve the problem outright, by not reacting you are less likely to agitate or make the problem worse.

Responding as opposed to reacting contains significantly less emotion and a lot more logic and logic is what is often needed for successful conflict resolution. Respond… don’t react.

In any conflict, always go for the win-win. Think collaboration not compromise. When two parties collaborate, then everyone comes out ahead. When there is compromise, one or both parties will have given something up in the process and will walk away less than satisfied. Yes, the conflict might look resolved, but if one or both feels as if they made sacrifices and not trade-offs during the resolution, the conflict is not fully settled.

Collaboration… not compromise. Make trade-offs… not sacrifices. When it comes to conflict resolution, the best way to get ahead is to help others get ahead too.

Conflict can be awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright ugly but it is a necessary part of life – just as necessary as conflict resolution is. If you have issues with conflict and conflict resolution, these ideas above will help you.

When it comes down to it, conflict resolution is simple, it is just like everything else in life; it takes effort. You have to want to be part of the solution rather than being part of the problem.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 26 April 2012

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