Positive Resolution of Conflicts

In life we are bound to have conflict.  Unfortunately, not all of us have been given the proper tools to know how to deal with conflict in a healthy and productive manner.  Thus, many conflicts lead to arguments and do not get resolved.  In order to begin establishing a healthy conflict resolution method there are 5 easy steps to follow:

1) Identifying and Defining the Conflict:

  • It is important to determine what exactly the issue is
  • Determine if there is anger, pain, or hurt…these must be dealt with before moving on

2) Generating Possible Solutions

  • Write down options
  • If this is a family conflict be sure to involve the children

3) Evaluate and Narrow Down Solutions

  • Eliminate “I’ message solutions. Solutions should work for everyone involved not just one person involved

4) Implement Decision

  • When a collaborative decision is made, be clear on expectations for eachother
  • Put the decision on paper as this solidifies the decision

5) Follow-Up

  • Be sure to touch base on how the solution is working for everybody
  • Resolve any problems that may have occurred, such as somebody not upholding their part of the solution

Conflicts are challenging and can be extremely emotionally charged.  Having a plan on how to deal with the conflict will ease the tension and create a mutual respect for others involved. Following a guideline such as this will enable you and your loved ones to move forward in a productive manner.  If these steps are new to you and your family it is a good idea to discuss the steps and perhaps post them in your home.  Eventually these steps will become natural and referring to a list will no longer be necessary.  Remember, conflicts are inevitable but they do not have to be in vain.  Answers and common ground can be found if the proper steps are taken, such as those listed above. 

Robin Nicholas

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