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MyselfConflict Management and Resolution

Posted Nov 2008

Everybody is having his/her own opinion about resolution of some problem. In that situation conflicts can appear as normal reaction to different attitudes.

Conflict is the result of clashes between incompatible attitudes, principles or goals. Its impact can be positive or negative. The cause of the conflict can be anything that makes some activity. Parties can have conflict about the goal of the activity, about means necessary to achieve specific goal, about values and morale of the goal, about facts and conclusion, or even a style of reaching the goal.

Why does conflicts appears? Conflict can appear because many reasons and motivation. It is in the human nature to observe, conclude and create attitudes. But we all do observation of our surrounding, making conclusion and building attitudes in different way. Once people with different attitudes meet, they may have different view to some situation. Everybody is having his/her own opinion about resolution of some problem. In that situation conflicts can appear as normal reaction to different attitudes. It is natural reaction to different views and perspectives.

Conflict can have positive and negative side. The positive side of the conflict can be better ideas produced. It can turn people to other approaches. Tension is stimulating interest and creativity. People in conflict can test and develop their capabilities. On the other side the conflict can have negative impact too.

Pointing a Finger
When you point a finger to someone, be aware that you are pointing 3 fingers to yourself.

Some people do not like conflict since it makes them upset or defeated. Conflict can increase distance between people. People can defend their stands, since they do not like to admit that other idea can be better. People can have biased attitude, according their own interests. It can bring distance instead of team development.

It is the truth that the conflict will occur in any group of the people. Even a discussion between close friends about hobby or meal that they all like can be a cause for small conflict. Anyway, conflicts can be managed. Conflicts can build relationships. Conflict can also be a motivator for a change.

Tools to overcome conflict
  • Attack the problem, not the person.
  • Focus on what can be done, not on what can't be done.
  • Encourage different points of view and honest dialogue.
  • Express your feelings in a way that does not blame.
  • Accept ownership for your part of the problem.
  • Listen to understand the other person's point of view before giving your own.
  • Show respect for the other person's point of view.
  • Solve the problem while building the relationship.

Response to conflict should be effort that will utilize positive impact of the conflict, diminish negative effects and bring the resolution of the conflict with the benefit to all parties. Since everyone can participate in the conflict, everybody can also give contribution to the management and resolution of the conflict.

First step of conflict management and resolution is the acceptance of the fact that conflict exists and that there are more or less different attitudes of involved parties. Acknowledgment of conflict existence can help us to analyze and understand the cause of the problem. It is very important to separate problem from the person, since personalizing of the problem can increase resistance and opposition between parties.

Management of emotions is critical part, since when emotions are shown strongly, people tend to personalize problem and to accuse each other. Everybody might want to say his/her opinion, hence active listening can contribute to conflict resolution.

When you find yourself in the conflict, try to open effective discussion that will clarify current situation. Try to be open to other's opinions. Develop ideas, your own and the other's. Stay focused on reaching resolution, instead having endless arguing. Use positive ideas and transfer them into actions. Do not forget to close discussion and to summaries what has been agreed, in order to help to Conflict Management and Resolution.

Remember: “Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy.” Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics.


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