Conflict is one aspect that is inevitable in any relationship. It exists between parents and children, between husbands and wives, among relatives, friends, colleagues, etc. While conflict arises from people whose different opinions and perceptions collide, the result does not always have to be disapproving. Conflict can build personality, relationships and even health just as it can ruin the same. To prevent damaging effects among people at home, in the workplace, or anywhere else, understanding conflicts and learning conflict resolution techniques is absolutely essential. Many institutions provide seminars and workshops that deal with conflict relationship, conflict intergroup, and all other associated issues that address conflicts. No one is exempted from disagreements hence the strategies for conflict resolution are not limited to leaders, managers, counselors, or mediators of institutions or environment where you belong.
Take responsibility for resolving differences in your relationships by learning the following steps.
Learn to listen. Many trivial issues develop into hostilities because the persons on both sides of the fence are not too keen on listening. If you practice your listening skills, the person you have conflict with will also listen to you when it is your turn to express your thoughts. There is always wisdom in lending your ears prior to opening your mouth. More often than not you are prone to errors when you are in a hurry to speak up especially when you are incensed. In conflicts, it is wise to stay calm and allow the other person to speak up. While listening objectively, you have the advantage to understand the situation better, empathize with the other person, and find an answer to your problem. Listening does not only allow you to develop empathy but it also helps you form correct solutions to the issue at hand, build respect for each other, and strengthen your relationship.
Learn to express your thoughts. After listening intently and objectively to the other person, you should be able to determine what you need to convey. Always remember that not everything you feel or think is right hence, be careful with your choice of words. You may be free to articulate your sentiments but avoid condemnatory remarks unless your goal is to intensify a dispute. Consider the other person’s feelings to salvage the relationship.
Learn to seek a solution. While some disagreements are difficult to manage, there is always a solution to every conflict. To come up with the proper solution, it is imperative to particularly address the root of the conflict otherwise the issue will only resurface over time. There are instances where the answer to the problem is not satisfactory to both parties. Nevertheless, for people who are trying to achieve a common goal, compromise is the key. Learning to negotiate or meet each other halfway in spite of the differences will help reestablish the relationship. The solution should always aim to promote peace, unity, and reconciliation.
Equally important to conflict resolution is conflict avoidance. After reconciliation, it is important to make conscious effort to avoid repeating the same kind of conflicts in the future. Learning from each other’s differences and from your past conflicts is of great consequence. People come from different lifestyles, backgrounds, and opinions among other things thus it is crucial to learn to accept the fact that you will not always agree but you can always try to understand each other. Recognizing each other’s differences and keeping in mind what triggered the conflict in the past will keep you away from pushing the wrong buttons.