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14 Tips for conflict resolution

14 Tips for conflict resolution
14 Tips for conflict resolution

14 Tips for Conflict Resolution by Patrick Wanis PhD

  1. Set objectives for the discussion i.e. state clearly what you want to resolve. Be clear within yourself about your needs.
  2. Notice what you are feeling. If you are angry, separate yourself from the situation and take time to calm down. You cannot resolve an issue when your emotions are intense.
  3. Address the problem, not the person. Began by thanking the person for being open to addressing the issue with you. Include a sincere compliment.
  4. Communicate your feelings assertively, not aggressively. Express them without blaming. When you blame, you create resistance in the other person, he/she shuts down, and therefore he/she stops listening or hearing you.
  5. Focus on the issue, not your position about the issue which will make the discussion personal rather than objective.
  6. Accept and respect that individual opinions may differ, don’t try to force compliance, work to develop common agreement.
  7. Do not view the situation as a competition, where one has to win and one has to lose. Work toward a solution where both parties have some of their needs met.
  8. Focus on areas of common interest and agreement, instead of areas of disagreement and opposition.
  9. Avoid jumping to conclusions or making assumptions about what another is feeling or thinking. Ask for feedback if needed to assure a clear understanding of the issue. Ask and repeat back phrases i.e. “Do I understand you correctly – you said…is that correct?”
  10. Listen without interrupting; let the person complete their thought and sentence. When a person feels they are being heard (having a voice) they become more open and less resistant.
  11. Remember, when only one person’s needs are satisfied in a conflict, it is not resolved and will continue. Focus on meeting both parties’ needs as best as possible.
  12. Forget the past and stay in the present.
  13. Build ‘power with’ and not ‘power over’ others.
  14. Thank the person for listening.

Also read: Stop running from conflict – Emotionally/Conflict Avoidant personality 

These strategies have been adapted by Patrick Wanis PhD from teachings and strategies developed by Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc.

The institute also teaches “Conflict Resolution (Anger Management) Structuring Self-Management” which is in compliance with court referral mandates

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