Conflict happens in most relationships, whether they are personal or professional. It is natural and reasonable, and it happens because we are complex creatures who are all different and have varying needs and opinions. Conflict is not just your initial disagreement, but when you have attempted to get past this and can’t seem to come to a compromise or understanding.
Because conflict happens frequently, it is an important life skill that everyone should learn to develop.
Here are some practical strategies you can use to deal with disputes of all kinds.
Conflict often stems from struggles we have deep within. Consider making a list of your values, behaviors, and attitudes that triggers you off in other people. Becoming aware of these is helpful.
Then ask yourself how you embody these or what about them is more troublesome for you, and find ways to manage these within yourself, as well.
Once you accept that conflict sometimes happens and not something you should take personally, it is easier to remain restrained or confront someone else. Start by talking in tones that indicate calm and agreement, as if you have already resolved the problem. Making eye contact makes it difficult for either party to stay angry or upset, too.
Practice deep breathing to keep your body calm throughout the situation.
Many times, conflicts arise because there is a misunderstanding or a lack of communication. Asking about the contention source, asking the other person to clarify their understanding of the situation, and asking the other person about their intent can often diffuse situations before they escalate. Asking shows, you are open and listening, which helps the other person feel heard, another critical ingredient in resolving conflict.
Apart from communication issues, a disproportionate assumption conjures up reactive emotions when expectation fails to materialize between parties. To prevent these types of conflict, each party should identify their needs and anticipation in the deal, using it as the basis to begin any reconciliation if needed. Often, just acknowledging your needs and agreeing to find ways to meet them can help resolve problems.
Presume Positive Intentions from the Other Party
When trying to resolve conflict, progress will be hard if you do not believe that the other person is seeking a good outcome for you both. When you harbor resentment or question the other party’s objectives, you will never feel good about the development you find. Please assume that the other person also wants a positive outcome and enter into this without ill will or a hidden agenda. Doing this is much more likely to result in something positive for everyone.
Acknowledge Differing Perspectives
We are all different, and we do not always see things the same or have the same perspectives about the world and ourselves. All our past experiences color and inform how we interpret the world, and acknowledging that each of you comes to this situation with different perspectives can help.
Knowing that one of the reasons you have a conflict is that you see the same set of facts or circumstances differently helps to move away from “right” and “wrong” and accept that we all have biases and beliefs that influence our thinking.
Final Thoughts on Conflict
When faced with conflict implementing these strategies help reduce emotional stress and confrontation. The objective is, as often as possible, to find common ground to resolve the issues positively.