Conflict Resolution

10 Tips for Handling Conflict

Tony Hall asked:

At some time in our lives most of us encounter situations where we become involved in conflict with others. It may be a simple difference of opinion, a feeling that you have been treated disrespectfully, a challenge to your beliefs or authority, or a whole host of other potential grievances. And how you handle it is critical to your feelings, emotions, and relationships.

Handling conflict is a huge topic that you should explore further but here are ten tips that will help you if you are faced with it yourself:

#1 Always Be Honest

Be sure to be yourself and don’t do or say things because you think that’s what is expected. Be yourself and trust yourself. Talking truthfully about how you feel about a situation and how it is affecting you will help towards a speedy resolution.

#2 Stay Calm and Rational

Avoid letting emotions take over and speak in a calm, rational way. That will earn you far more respect than by shouting and raging. It’s often said that when you feel anger coming on you should take a deep breath and count to ten, so always take time to think about what you say.

#3 Talk in the First Person

Always use statements beginning with “I” to let the other person know how you feel, how you react, and how you are affected by the conflict. It is important that you talk from your point of view and never assume you know what the other person is thinking.

#4 Be Assertive, But Not Aggressive

Ensure you can take charge of the situation but without resorting to aggressive behavior or threats.

#5 Show Respect

It is vital that you retain respect for both yourself and the other person involved. Trading insults will only make the matter worse. If you find that disrespect is creeping in on either side bring the matter to a halt as soon as possible and agree to resolve it when you have both had time to calm down.

#6 Avoid Issuing Blame

You must keep an open discussion going without attaching blame. It will ensure that both parties understand how they are affected by the conflict without unnecessarily becoming defensive about their own position.

#7 Forgive

Sometimes it’s hard to do but the quality of forgiveness should never be forgotten. If you approach life with forgiveness in your heart then all conflict can be overcome.

#8 Apologize or Admit You Were Wrong

It can take courage and conviction to admit you were wrong or made a mistake but it is essential to avoid a stalemate developing in the conflict. Apologize for any wrong on your part and you will encourage the same show of remorse from the other party.

#9 Be Willing to Compromise

Clinging stubbornly to your position is to be avoided. To resolve conflict it is essential that each party feels they have gained something – there should not be a winner and a loser. So compromise is a necessity.

#10 Forget

Once you have found a solution you must be prepared to let go and move on. It should not be something that can be dragged up in the future. A good exercise is to write down how the conflict has been resolved. Then forget it!

Taking on board these tips will ensure you always have a positive approach to handling difficult situations and that you will be better prepared to achieve the right resolution. You should always try to avoid conflict but if you have a plan to deal with it then it will be quickly and far more easily resolved.


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