Imagine Health

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

Conflict takes place due to differences. It happens when people disagree with their thoughts, feelings or opinions. The occurrence of conflict is normal in relationships, work situations and anywhere you find someone opposing your opinion. It is common that what you think, feel and say will not always mesh with others resulting in a rift. Misunderstanding is thought to be the cause of conflict in 90% of all conflict.

Every relationship encounters conflict and this is completely normal. But without the right tools conflict resolution is not possible. This is when the real problems set in. Over time, not being able to resolve conflicts is detrimental to relationships.

Most people don’t like conflict and as a result, try to ignore it hoping that it will go away. However, this can lead to having the same argument over and over. Therefore, it is important that we move away from seeing conflict as a bad thing. When you remain silent it is interpreted as acceptance, which may not be your intention. It is important to keep in mind that when ignored, issues don’t go away they tend to worsen and cause negativity and resentment.

Resolving Conflict

To have and maintain healthy relationships, successful conflict resolution must be learned. Conflict resolution is the process of attaining an agreement in a dispute, debate, or any other form of conflict between two or more people.

The first step in conflict resolution is the recognition of different types of conflict. The five styles of conflict include:

  1. Avoiding the conflict- pretending that it never happened or does not exist.
  2. Giving in- you agree with the conflicting view of the other party.
  3. Standing up- you compete with the other party.
  4. Compromise- both parties look for common ground.
  5. Collaboration- involves listening to the other parties’ side.  Discuss areas of agreement and goals and ensure that all parties understand each other.

Settling a conflict without getting mad, frustrated or upset generally involves the following steps:

  1. Handle conflict sooner rather than later- you may think it will blow over but in most cases, as time goes by conflict only escalates.
  2. Recognition that there is a problem that needs to be resolved.
  3. Exploration of the underlying concerns.
  4. Creation of and mutually agreeing on a solution.

Written by Rebekka Johnston