10 tips to manage conflict
Treat the other person with respect
Although it may be difficult during conflict, we must treat the other person as a person of worth and as an equal. Words of disrespect are hurtful and block communication.
Utilize rational thinking
- Respond rather than react.
- Explore assumptions, perceptions and expectations that may be present.
- Make a list of resources and supports that may be helpful and refer to them throughout the process should you run into a barrier.
- Utilize resources for skill development or coaching that might be helpful for you to be effective in addressing this conflict.
Confront the problem
- Find a time and place to discuss the conflict with the other person.
- Choose a time when parties are able to be in a positive headspace.
- Choose a location that is comfortable and neutral for all parties.
Define the conflict
- Describe the conflict in clear, concrete terms. What is the Issue?
- Describe behaviors, feelings, consequences, and desired changes. (Use I statements)
- Focus on behaviors or problems, not people.
- Define the conflict as a problem for both of you to solve together, not a battle to be won. What is the goal?
- Listen to really understand the other person’s feelings, needs, and so forth. What feelings did I hear? What needs have been expressed?
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
- Step back and try to imagine how the other person sees things.
- Explain how you see the problem after you have talked about it. Discuss any changes you have made in the way you see things or how you feel.
- Review the goal you are trying to achieve or needs you are trying to meet.
- Take turns offering alternative solutions.
- Be nonjudgmental of others’ ideas.
- Examine possible outcomes of these solutions.
- Think and talk positively.
Agree on the most workable solution
- Agree to a solution you both understand and can live with.
- Work to find a “win-win” solution.
- Be committed to resolving the conflict.
- Be open minded.
- Remember the goal you are trying to achieve or needs you are trying to meet.
Evaluate & Debrief
Work out a way to check on how well the solution is working. Adjust the resolution when necessary.
Take time for Self-Care
Participate in activities and interactions that boost your well-being and show respect to your mind, body and soul. By taking care of yourself you will not only be in a better place to effectively deal with conflict but you will also be in a better place to grow from conflict.