Interpersonal Skills – Conflict Resolution

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Difference in opinions, arguments and conflicts are a part of everyday life and the same stands true for organizations and social groups.

Conflict resolution is the name given to the efforts and activities which are aimed at finding peaceful solution to the conflict acceptable to all the parties involved in the conflict.

The conflict in discussion may take various forms i.e. professional, personal, social, political, financial and emotional etc.

When a conflict arises the best course of action is to resolve it as early as possible before the egos inflate further.

Objectives of Conflict Resolution

The objectives of conflict resolution include

  • Finding a quick and effective solution to the problem
  • Arriving at a solution which is acceptable to all the parties involved in the conflict
  • To prevent further damage and straining of relations arising from the conflict
  • To restore the situation back to the normal

Significance of Conflict Resolution

  • Restores peace and harmony
  • Restores strained ties
  • Opens door and create opportunities for continued relations beneficial to both parties
  • Bring an end to acrimony and create opportunities for future course of action
  • Bring end to negativity

Steps in Conflict Resolution

The process of conflict resolution entails the following steps

·      Develop an Understanding of the Conflict

The first step in conflict resolution is to develop an understanding of your own role and objective in the resolution of the conflict. Similarly, also obtain an understanding of the interests of the other parties involved in the conflict. Make sure you know what you are looking to achieve through the conflict resolution.

·      Communicate

Once you have developed an understanding of the conflict the next step is to communicate with the parties involved in the conflict. Since you are well familiar with your stance and point of view it is time to listen to the other party. Therefore, focus on listening and let everyone who wants to participate in the conversation be listened to with an open mind.

·      Come up with as Many Solutions as you can

This is the stage where all parties to the conflict should sit together and come up with as many solutions as they can. Do not eliminate a solution at an early stage since it does not sound feasible or parties do not seem to agree on it initially in fact put it in the list of the possible solutions.

·      Review and evaluate all Possible Solutions

Review and evaluate all the possible solutions that you have come up with during the brainstorming session. Eliminate the options that do not appear feasible to either of the parties after discussion and contemplate on the ones that look feasible, practical and have the potential to accommodate the interests of all the parties involved.

·      Consider involving a Third Part Mediator

Many parties feel more comfortable and feel that their interests are best looked after in the presence of a third party mediator. If you also feel that it would be best to hire a mediator to arrive at an amicable solution then go ahead and hire a one who is equally acceptable to all the parties involved in the conflict.

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