Conflict resolution activities are steps taken towards resolving agreements. To deal with conflicts effectively, it requires essential skills whether the conflict is in social or professional level. The ability of seeking positive outcome for all the parties involved by diffusing a situation is a skill which can be mastered and improved upon through experience.
Contrary to popular belief, all conflicts are not bad. There are some positive conflicts. Conflict is just two people or parties differing or in opposition. The most important requirement is being able to see the issue at hand from a wide range of perspectives. You should be able to analyze the situation and determine whether there is a conflict or not. If you are capable of doing this, you will be able to relate with all the sides much easier and quicker and then start working on a solution to the problem at hand. This will guide you through and move on. However, if you try to dig your heel in or try to resist this, the conflict will not be resolved. The best way to resolve a conflict is facing it.
Here are some useful guidelines to help you resolve conflict
If you are trying to mediate the situation then you have to maintain self-control. If the situation turns emotional then the battle is already lost. Try to keep the communication lines open by reminding the parties involved of common decencies like not interrupting the other party when talking. Try and see what you can learn from the situation. There are always things to learn from different situations you run into. Sometimes it is not obvious but both parties will be teaching one another some valuable things.
You have to be an active listener. You should repeat to the other person that indeed you have known what the problem is, asks questions if you are not sure of something. In many situations conflict normally arise due to misunderstanding. Asking questions will help you to understand the situation better.
From the beginning you should be able to define the situation correctly. In many cases when people are in conflict the main cause of the conflict may not be directly related to the situation at hand. Look for possible motives behind a person's specific behavior and understand what is driving them to the type of behavior. For example when a fellow worker is acting unreasonably or is displaying some impatience, this can be as a result of outside influence on his or her personal life such as marital stress or stress over money.
If you are not well conversant with the situation at hand and you are not able to offer any assistance, then do not try to resolve the conflict. If you do not have anything substantial to contribute towards the resolution of the conflict or the source of the conflicts has nothing to do with you in any way, you stand a chance of worsening the situation, so do not try to resolve the situation.
In general, conflicts have ripple effects and when things are not resolved faster, it may impact others, so it is advisable to consider other people who are not involved directly. For example, unhappy fellow worker who is having unresolved issues over a period of time can have negative impact on culture, morale and productivity if his source of negativity spreads quickly and have an impact on his morale.
You have to accept that there are some situations where both parties will not be able to win or have a positive outcome. You may be forced to give some to get something. It is very uncommon to have win/win' situation. You should be prepared to assess and understand the possible outcome or potential scenarios. Some people refer to it as damage control while some call it handling the situation, but whatever you call it, it is normally overlooked when the people involve during conflict resolutions try to find a positive outcome for both parties even if it is almost impossible.
The first part of conflict resolution activities is to really understand when there is a conflict situation. Then using some of the conflict resolution techniques above can help you get through, most likely with both parties getting something accomplished.