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Communication is the pathway to Conflict Resolution

The Journey has us spending considerable time together, sometimes under trying and difficult circumstances. Couple this with heat and tiredness, and you have a scenario that can lead to conflict. Finding a peaceful resolution that will work for everyone is not always easy. Here, the author (Karelyn Farrand) provides eight simple steps that might help....

One of the greatest life skills to help in conflict resolution is effective communication. To help constructively resolve a conflict practice and follow these conflict resolution communication steps:

  1. Cool down. Don’t try to resolve a conflict when either party is up-set, angry or emotional. Take a time-out and agree to meet at another time, within 24 hours.

  2. Describe the Conflict. Using their own words, each person should state only the information they know to be true about the conflict, not their feelings. No put downs allowed! Each person may have a different recall of the conflict and use different words. It is important to remember that neither account is “right” or “wrong”.

  3. Describe the cause of the conflict. Each person should describe what events lead up to the conflict. What happened first, next and so on? Did the conflict start as a difference in opinion or a slight disagreement? What turned it into a conflict? It is important not to blame either person.

  4. Describe the feelings raised by the conflict. Each person should describe how the conflict is affecting their feelings. Honesty is important. Again, no blaming allowed.

  5. Listen to understand the other person’s point of view.Listen carefully and with respect while the other person is speaking. Do not interrupt them, instead wait until they are finished speaking to paraphrase, probe or reframe what you have heard them say about the events of the conflict and their feelings. Examples: “Your feelings were hurt when I called you a name?” “You’re sad because you were left out?”

  6. Brainstorm solutions to the conflict. Everyone thinks of as many solutions as they can. Remember not to laugh at anyone’s ideas, all positive ideas are okay, even if they seem unrealistic. After a list of ideas has been made, select a solution to try. It is important to be willing to negotiate and compromise.

  7. Try your solution. Give the solutions your best effort. Be patient.

  8. If one solution doesn’t work, try another. Keep trying to find a workable solution.

If you have a strategy for conflict resolution you would like to share, please contact us!

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