How to Resolve Conflict

How to resolve conflict? It is most-asked question whenever a dispute arises in an organization or in a group. But why do conflict managers tell us of its exact answer. It is the gist of their education and experience which makes them to manage a conflict in a professional manner. Therefore, one cannot expect from them to train us for the skill of their livelihood and one has to rely on the research and the contents like this if one has to learn how to resolve conflict.

There are three phases in conflict management which must be kept in mind while resolving a conflict either in an organization or in a group but one has to move on step by step to settle a dispute between two people. Strangely enough sometimes we play a role of conflict manager in a given situation but don’t know the significance of our role and just behave like a mediator or situation soother to pacify the anger, ire or resentment of the two disputing parties. Think how many times in your family you tried to remove the grievances of one family member against another just to end their dispute at personal level and stopped them to approach court. In eastern societies conflict between spouses is a routine matter in most of the cases and at the end of the day their dispute is resolved or removed with the efforts of family elders.

First phase of the dispute resolution is identification of the conflict. One can’t manage the conflict unless it is properly evaluated by identifying its root causes and all the factors behind it. To identify a conflict one must do the following:

  • Monitor the given situation where conflict occurred
  • Thoroughly examine the whole background of the conflict
  • Enumerate the reasons of conflict, if many
  • Rank the reasons according to their intensity or strength to fan the conflict
  • Categorize the reasons according to their nature
  • Study the third party role in occurrence of a conflict
  • Trim the list of reasons by consolidating the similar one

The second phase of the conflict management is developing a strategy to manage the conflict. If a proper strategy is developed then there would be no any impediment to end the dispute amicably with the consent of both the parties. To develop a strategy for this purpose following points must be kept in mind:

  • Include all factors, which cause conflict, to address them in the strategy
  • Strategy must focus the whole scenario instead of concentrating on one point
  • Strategy must offer an opportunity to the conflicting parties to clarify their stance which caused the conflict
  • All aspects of the conflict must be kept in view of while developing a strategy

The third and most important phase of the conflict management is to act for the resolution of a dispute between the two parties by offering both of them to express their stance before initiating the conflict management process. In the third and the final phase following points must be kept in mind:

  • Both the parties must be given full opportunity to express their grievances
  • Both the parties must be made ready to listen the viewpoint of each other
  • Both the conflicting parties should be invited to propose how to resolve the conflict
  • The viewpoints of both the parties must be summarized to make them comprehend its objectives
  • Both the conflicting parties must be given various options on how to resolve the conflict
  • Ultimately a final solution should be applied to resolve the conflict with the consent of all concerned.

We have tried to give the answer of oft-asked question, how to resolve conflict. Now it ups to you that how you handle a conflicting situation and how do you apply the above suggestions to make a situation free from the conflict for the smooth functioning of your organization.

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