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Conflict Basics

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

Utilize Resources

  • 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?

Communicate understanding

  • 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.

Explore solutions

  •  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.