Knowing conflict resolution strategies is indispensable within any work and social environment. Especially if your work involves interacting with people, it is very likely that disagreements will arise. Therefore, it is important to detect them and implement conflict resolution strategies in order not to make them grow.
But what does conflict resolution involve? It is to raise solutions for an opposition or a disagreement with someone; and even, a prolonged rivalry. You have to contemplate that you will not always be right and that you will have to be open to the different opinions of others. The idea is not to avoid conflicts, as they are inherent to any social environment, but to turn them into something constructive .
So, in order for you to know how to manage conflicts, we present this guide with the different conflict resolution strategies. In this way, you will be able to manage conflicts, strengthen your emotional intelligence, and strengthen your bonds as a collaborator or leader within your work environment.
are you ready? let’s get started!
1. Let go of your reason and disarm the opposition
Before applying conflict resolution strategies, it is essential to analyze your own behavior and identify if you have committed any action that has generated problems with another person. Pay attention to reality and be able to recognize that your counterpart is right to open the way to find different conflict resolution strategies.
This is one of the best techniques for handling interpersonal conflicts. However, it is important not to overuse it to prevent your behavior from becoming predictable and the conflict management strategy from losing its effectiveness.
To carry out this type of conflict resolution strategy, it is essential to have the capacity for self-reflection and commitment to the situation. In this way, conflict participants move away from an avoidant posture in the presence of conflict.
Thus, for people who opt for this kind of conflict resolution strategies, disagreements are something purely positive; and negative emotions, rejections and frustrations must be dealt with. And by working them out, they can no longer interfere with harmony in the environment and between people.
2. Negotiation in the face of conflict
Negotiation is one of the best conflict resolution strategies that adapts to almost any situation in the personal and work context .
Conflicts are part of human relationships, since we live in a world where each person has different characteristics, values, opinions, interests and perspectives. Therefore, it is common for conflicting objectives to arise, giving rise to discussions and inviting the design of conflict resolution strategies.
As an Infobae study states, it is essential to have defined conflict resolution strategies to detect when a problem of this type is occurring. This is applicable in relation to personal relationships and at work.
In short, negotiation practices are usually used in minor cases, as they require both parties to be in a friendly position to resolve conflicts, without having to involve third parties when establishing conflict resolution strategies.
3. Tackle the situation gently
Like the problem-solving technique above, this is one of the conflict resolution strategies that can be useful in the case of low-severity conflicts, as it involves direct confrontation in a diplomatic tone .
Within these conflict contexts, it is essential to keep control of your emotions, to avoid havingabrupt reactions and expressing grievances, which could be detrimental when implementing effective conflict resolution strategies.
Therefore, try to avoid the impulsive conflict resolution style. Don’t forget that problems in a social interaction environment are inevitable, because there is a sense of interdependence in the relationship of the individuals that make up a group.
Also, always keep in mind the importance of depersonalizing problems. Thus, when applying conflict resolution strategies, do not seek to blame or judge anyone or take conflicts as personal issues.
In this way, conflict resolution strategies can function as a source of learning, as well as a source of creativity for the development of new ideas and solutions.
Therefore, it is essential to openly accept personal and work conflicts, and to work on them from a balanced confrontation; consequently, it will be possible to look for their causes and propose the necessary actions. All this, by means of conflict resolution strategies appropriate to each situation.
Thus, the attitude of the speaker is central for this problem-solving strategy to be effective. Therefore, be as horizontal as possible. Do not lecture your counterpart, since a position of superiority in a conflict could generate resentment. If possible, rehearse what you are going to say beforehand; and be sure to keep control of your body language when you put any of the conflict resolution strategies into action.
So, if you want to confront someone effectively for conflict resolution, try the following guidelines:
Describe the facts objectively without appealing to personal judgments. i.e., analyze what the causes of the conflict are and determine the emotion, person or action that may have triggered it. but be very careful! You are not looking for culprits, because what you need is to recognize what causes it, to resolve the conflict by means of conflict resolution strategies, and not to create another one.
Identify the negative consequences that affect the parties involved. As much as possible, use quantitative terms when applying conflict resolution strategies.
Listen to the participants involved.
Describe your expectations for the solution.
Rely on the commitment of the interlocutors. This commitment implies accepting the presence of a conflict and the need to activate conflict resolution strategies. It is not considered appropriate to confront the problem directly in order to avoid a dynamic of tension between “winners” and “losers”. In other words, it is not only important to find solutions, but to maintain positive interpersonal relationships through conflict management.
4. The importance of mediation
Mediation is another conflict resolution strategy that you can employ when the action of a third party is necessary. This needs to be an impartial and unbiased actor to facilitate the conversation in managing the interpersonal conflict. Each party will listen to the other and express their point of view.
Indeed, it is essential to listen actively to understand the situation in all its relevant details. And if something is not clear, it is advisable to ask questions on key points, to then give way to the conflict resolution strategies chosen for the occasion.
Empathy is key to the development of emotional intelligence. It is the feeling of identification with someone or the ability to identify with someone and share their feelings. It is related to understanding, support and active listening. It is important to know how to listen and pay attention to what the other person shares with you in order to reflect on the situation they are going through and identify emotions. It is also important to interpret non-verbal signals, which allow you to understand the level of frustration, anger or joy, according to the volume of voice used and facial expressions. It is also essential to show understanding without judging the other person’s emotions”.
In short, this is one of the conflict resolution strategies in which the mediator must be empathetic, promote a neutral and pleasant environment. All this, with the purpose of contemplating the perspectives of both parties in the conflict and collaborate in the resolution.
5. Exchange positions
Advancing a little further in this guide on the best conflict resolution strategies, we cannot fail to mention the exchange of opinions as a tool for the management of interpersonal conflicts.
It becomes essential to develop an attitude of humility, which is not crossed by interpersonal competition. Otherwise, the situation will be seen under the dichotomy of “win-lose”; that is, by means of competitive and non-collaborative solutions as conflict resolution strategies. According to this assumption, it is not important to examine the causes; and the authority structure will be key to apply a solution.
Then, when these conflict resolution strategies are put into practice, the imposition of the interests of a particular individual must be set aside, in pursuit of personal or work-related well-being .
Thus, the exchange of positions makes it possible to understand the other person’s point of view. This is one of the simplest conflict resolution strategies. For example, each party can write down his or her position in the conflict on a piece of paper, and then exchange the papers to discuss the reason for the conflict.
6. Appeal to an authoritative third party
Admittedly, this may be similar to one of the conflict resolution strategies we mentioned above. However, in this case, you need to bring in a third party, but one who is an agent with authority over the conflict .
This conflict management technique is only used in the case where a political confrontation has not yielded results or because one of the parties has not compromised or has not reached a middle ground to build solutions.
Usually, this kind of conflict resolution strategy focuses on finding a common ground acceptable to all parties to the problem. That is, negotiating between interests and finding a middle ground where everyone has something to gain.
In fact, the best conflict resolution strategies require a balance between the dimensions of assertion and cooperation, so that all parties benefit. This situation is also known as “win-win” .
Also, this conflict management works by establishing permanent rules to decide accordingly; thus, depersonalizing the solution .
This type of conflict resolution strategy is very common in the workplace, where superiors act as competent authorities to intervene in the conflict.
According to an analysis by Forbes, there are different factors that can be triggers of conflicts within work contexts. We detail them below so that you can detect them and apply the corresponding conflict resolution strategies to manage conflicts at work:
Lack of hierarchical promotions.
Deficiency in salary retribution, which does not meet the expectations of the collaborators and forces to put into action conflict resolution strategies.
Predominance of work stress.
Lack of recognition for good performance or for the fulfillment of objectives in work groups.
Failure to communicate with superiors.
Poor bonding with teammates, which generates the need to develop conflict resolution strategies.
Lack of identification of the collaborator with the mission, values and objectives of the company. Therefore, it is essential to optimize the talent search processes, so that the collaborators have values that coincide with those of the company, since in the long term, this difference could produce different types of conflicts.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the development of new technologies and the increase in remote work makes the process of conflict detection by team leaders much more difficult.
In simple words, for a leader, it is much more difficult to determine the presence of a conflict within digital conversations, because in these cases, non-verbal language cannot be interpreted correctly and the degree of empathy usually decreases.and so, by not recognizing conflicts accurately, it is more complicated to find the ideal conflict resolution strategies for each situation.
In conclusion, it is the task of leaders to develop soft skills, delimit moments of tension, talk to the participants of the conflict and try to find one of the best conflict resolution strategies.
7. Gives rise to arbitration
Within conflict resolution strategies, arbitration is a technique used in the most serious, complex and urgent cases. Here, a third party takes control of the problem and decides what the solution to the conflict will be.
An example of conflict resolution with this method is applied during a divorce, where a judge decides who will take custody of the children.
If conflict resolution strategies do not work, harmful consequences are likely to occur. Likewise, if they are not dealt with correctly, they can grow and enhance their negative effects .
Thus, conflict resolution in all contexts is indispensable, in order to have a climate of harmony and balance between people’s interests.
Well, as you will see, there are different conflict resolution strategies, which are fundamental tools to solve problems. Do not forget that conflict management is nothing more than a kick-start for personal growth; and in the world of work, it becomes an excellent opportunity for improvement.
On the other hand, although it is important that you have read this post about conflict resolution strategies, we recommend that you do not lose sight of the incorporation of new skills to develop them in the workplace. And even more, if you are in charge of a work team and you must know how to design conflict resolution strategies.
To conclude this article on conflict resolution strategies, we would like to refer to one of the famous phrases of William James, American philosopher and psychologist, founder of Functional Psychology:”Whenever you are in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging the relationship and strengthening it. That factor is attitude.