6 Steps To Help You Resolve Conflicts

· September 15, 2015

Do you often find yourself in the middle of a conflict that doesn’t involve you? Or when you’re in the middle of a conflict, do you feel blocked and unsure of how to find a solution? This has happened to all of us and if there is anything that’s constant in life, it is change, and this always generates some type of conflict.

But don’t worry. There are strategies for coping with these situations that can help you avoid being thrown off balance by troublesome people.

Why do conflicts come up?

The first thing to keep in mind is that people who start conflicts are usually disappointed with some aspect of their lives. They feel misunderstood or like nobody listens to them and they seek ways to make themselves heard. For you, this can be absurd, but you shouldn’t belittle these situations until you know their arguments.

Conflicts can also stem from the need to show power: a boss with low self-esteem or a colleague who sees you making decisions with intelligence and grace. These people want to show that they they’re the worthy ones, that they have the power, and they think they have authority over you. Remain very calm. They only want you (and whoever else) to pay attention to them.

Steps to resolve conflicts

To solve these conflicts, it is vital that you stay calm. Learn to listen, value, and understand the other person. Here are the most important things to do when a conflict is inevitable:

  1. Listen attentively.

Always remain calm and stay silent. It is important for the other person to be heard. This is why they are making such a fuss. If you listen calmly and attentively, they will start to lower the tone of their voice on their own. Speak when things calm down a bit. If they ask why you aren’t speaking, just respond that you are listening to them.

  1. Don’t interrupt.

Let them talk freely and explain their full justification for the conflict and their anger with you. You have to give them the benefit of the doubt; maybe they are right and you’re talking out of turn. Your conversation partner wants to be heard, to show their power. Let them. But be prepared: there are many people who don’t know how to assert themselves and they feel confused, so they yell.

  1. Put yourself in their shoes.

Think about why they are acting that way. Maybe their job is very stressful, or their life isn’t going the way they want it to. Think about what would happen to you if you were in that position. Understanding the other person will help you to better understand the situation and better resolve it. Don’t lose your calm.

  1. Confirm what the other person says.

When you can speak, tell them what you understood them to be saying to you, using phrases like “What you mean to say is…” or “Yes, I completely understand what you mean by…” In this way, they will see that you are listening to them and that you are paying attention. This is often all they need. After coming to an agreement about what the other person says, you can express your opinion.

  1. Admit that you are wrong if that is the case.

Admitting that you were wrong in front of others shows your confidence in yourself. Very few people can do it; you have to try. If this is your situation, you will quickly end the conflict and increase others’ opinion of you. If you are not sure whether or not you were wrong, but you are having doubts, say something like, “You know, maybe you’re right, can we discuss it together?” If you are not entirely sure, don’t present your arguments. This will show that you are a trustworthy person.

  1. See the best side of the other person.

If you know a detail about the other person’s personal life, something that they like to do or something nice about them, try to imagine them doing it. Every time you think about them, relate it to that. In doing so, you will manage to speak to that other, happier side of the person and you’ll be able to address them in a peaceful way. Try not to let the most violent face be in your mind so that you will always be able to start a conversation on good terms.

If you manage to remember these steps when you are getting into a conflict, you will be much more prepared to resolve it efficiently. You’ll end conflicts gracefully and without losing valuable time on them.

Image courtesy of pogonici