1. Active listening
The first step in resolving a problem is taking the time to listen to what the other party has to say. Of course, it’s easy to assume that you’re the right one in the situation and dismiss the other person’s thoughts, but that mindset doesn’t help resolve the issue. Instead, it’s imperative to do active listening.
Active listening entails focusing on what the other person has to say, staying quiet as they speak, and listening to how they phrase things. Genuinely listening to their questions and concerns with open ears shows them that you care about what they’re saying, establishing a sense of respect. You should always go into conflict resolution with an open mind so that you can truly see where the other person is coming from.
If the other person phrases things in a certain way, you should phrase your words in the same way back to them. If you’re confused about something they said, ask questions. This indicates that you actually listened to them, which shows that you care about resolving the issue at hand. Actively listening to the other party during a conflict is arguably one of the most important skills to have when it comes to conflict resolution.
Communication is key in every relationship, whether that be a professional or personal one. If you don’t communicate your thoughts and feelings to the people around you, how can you expect them to understand how you feel?
Although it might be tempting to remain closed off after an argument, that's not the best way to resolve the issue. You need to nurture the relationship to ensure it heals post-conflict by having an open line of communication for both parties. Everyone involved in the conflict should feel comfortable openly discussing their thoughts and feelings in order to come to a resolution together.
Communication is also key to ensuring the relationship stays healthy in the long term. You want to create a workplace environment that encourages inclusion, so no one feels judged or afraid to speak their mind about a dispute or argument. Open communication can also prevent an issue from escalating.
3. Don’t place blame
The last thing you want to do during a conflict is place blame on one another. You shouldn’t point fingers, as this can escalate the conflict and make matters worse. Instead, create a safe environment that doesn’t place blame on one specific person.
You should also avoid going on the offensive, as this can make it more difficult to find a solution. Instead, everyone should have an equal chance to speak without being shut down. It’s crucial to let everyone get their feelings and thoughts out on the table.
When you’re faced with a conflict at work or in your personal life, all the parties involved should work together to resolve it. No one specific person should be held responsible for finding the solution. Working together to find a solution will not only resolve the issue faster, but it will also bring everyone together and encourage teamwork.
4. Remaining calm
Sometimes, our natural response during an argument is to let emotions like anger and frustration take control, but that seldom results in a resolution. Your tone of voice goes a long way in a conversation, which is why it’s important to remain calm when resolving a conflict. Although it might be hard to stay level-headed during a disagreement, it’s necessary so that you don’t exacerbate the issue.
This is also why it’s a good idea to wait after the initial argument before having another conversation. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy for your emotions to take over and say things you don’t mean. Instead, give yourself some time for your emotions to pass before you immediately jump into conflict resolution. That way, you and the other party can take time to reflect on the disagreement and think critically about what happened and why. You should feel calm and composed when entering into conflict resolution and make sure you get your thoughts together beforehand so you know exactly what to say, and how to say it.
In a conflict, both parties often believe they’re in the right, which is why it’s important to collaborate and find common ground and compromise. Conflict resolution is a joint effort. You can’t expect one party to come to the solution all by themselves. Instead, you need to work together to reach a solution that works for everyone. Having the willingness to collaborate will also show the other party that you’re able to put your differences aside to come to a conclusion as a team.
Collaboration ensures that all parties are heard, so the solution won’t favor one person over the other. Working together also means that you’ll likely come to a conclusion much faster. Collaboration means letting go of your pride and working together so you can resolve the issue at hand.