The Five Steps to Conflict Resolution

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Five Essential Steps to Resolve Conflicts in Business and Communications

Societal disagreements are inevitable, since different parties will always have varying motivational and personal values, conflicting goals, beliefs, and opinions. Disputes or problems between two or more people are not easy to resolve, which is why conflict management is one of the essential leadership training courses. Moreover, a manager of any level would benefit greatly from conflict resolution training and consulting.

Ways to Resolve Conflicts

All known methods for resolving conflicts are based on finding a balance of interests of the involved parties. The simplicity of solving the interpersonal problem depends on three conditions:

  • Content of the subject of the conflict;
  • The value of interpersonal relationships;
  • Individual psychological traits.

The degree of personal interest focus can vary, depending on which the manager selects the appropriate solution:

  1. Evasion. Avoiding the conflict does not provide a solution to either side, so both lose, and the method is acceptable only as a temporary measure.
  2. Compulsion. If one side has an influence over the other, it is possible to resolve the conflict without taking into account the opinion of the opponent. But the method may cause outrage, and the victory may turn out to be Pyrrhic.
  3. Smoothing. The method based on the desire for a compromise, respect for the opinion of the opposite side, without a pronounced manifestation of self-interest, works flawlessly. It is important not to lose sight of the roots of the problem.
  4. Compromise. During the negotiations, the parties make mutual concessions, and a solution is found that, to one degree or another, suits everyone. However, there is a risk of a rollback on fundamental issues.
  5. Cooperation. The method is based on recognizing the opinions of opponents in order to find acceptable solutions. With this approach, each side benefits.

Efficient Algorithm: Five Easy Steps to Conflict Resolution

The following step-by-step methodology for resolving conflicts through cooperation is widely recognized as the most effective:

  • Define the problem

If the source of the conflict is clear, it will be easier to resolve. You will need a maximum of information about the problem: the time of the first manifestation, duration and severity. Each party should be able to freely present their vision of the reasons and get the right to be heard. Let everyone describe what the essence of the conflict is in their opinion.

  • Identify the root causes of the conflict

Look beyond the incident. The problem may not be in the situation itself, but in different points of view on it. The source of the conflict can be an incident that happened months before, just the stress level has reached a critical level. Here are examples of questions to answer: “What do you think happened?” or “When did you first feel the problem?”

  • Restore the relationships

Focus on the problem, not the personalities of participants. Consider the solutions offered by all the parties. Ask questions to discover their ideas: “How can you improve the relationship between you?” As a mediator, you must be an active listener, knowledgeable about all the nuances of verbalism, and have a good understanding of body language.

  • Search for a mutually beneficial solution

Build trust and identify solutions that support the claims of all involved sides. Look for the optimal course of action, point out the merits of different ideas, not only from the point of view of each participant, but also the advantages of the organization as a whole, common cause, etc.

  • Reach the agreement

Consensus is possible if during negotiations you manage to uphold a positive attitude towards each party, listen to all opinions and exclude manifestations of anger and threats.

It may also be helpful to answer the following questions: “What action plans can be developed to prevent future conflicts?” and “What will you do if similar problems arise in the future?

The Five Steps to Conflict Resolution: Summary

Any situation can be settled if you mastered the appropriate skills, of course. Advance, better yourself, leave your conflicts in the past, order conflict resolution training and consulting and get a few steps closer to success!

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