People often ask me how to resolve conflicts. Many people think that letting conflict build up, followed by an explosion, followed by another build-up period is the natural cycle of conflict. The only difficulty with this approach is that the conflict continues and doesn’t get resolved. The only real solution is to fix the conflict by taking action. Follow the following steps to begin working on resolving rather than perpetuating conflict.
1. Each person identifies what the they think the conflict is.
2. Both people agree together on one definition of the conflict to begin resolving.
3. Each person comes up with two or three possible solutions.
4. Both people agree together on which solution to implement.
5. If the parties can’t work together find a mediator.
Resolving conflict is about working with the other person to actually fix the situation. The act of doing all the previous steps (always in order) allows us the chance to work with the other person rather than against them. Make sure you start at the first step and do not progress to the next if you haven’t finished the previous step. We are conditioned to rush to solutions but frequently forget that it the working through the issue that gets us the most permanent and satisfactory results.