It is a fact of life that conflict occurs. We can’t all always get along, and that’s alright. However, when conflict does arise, it is important to deal with it in a manner that is sensible and mature. Whether the dispute happens in your workplace, relationship or elsewhere, here are the conflict resolution steps you need to follow.
1. Clarify What The Disagreement Is
This might sound straightforward, but you may well be surprised. What you think is the disagreement could well be very different to what the other party thinks the disagreement is. This will get you to the heart of the conflict. Discuss it calmly, and obtain as much information as possible so that you both understand the issue.
2. Establish A Common Goal
Next, you need to discuss what each party would like the outcome of the conflict to be, and try to find a commonality. This can be as straightforward as ‘both of us would like the conflict to end.’ Having a shared goal is vital to moving forwards.
3. Discuss Ways To Meet The Common Goal
This can include listening, communicating, and brainstorming. If one option doesn’t work, that’s ok – keep going until all options are exhausted.
4. Determine Barriers To Meeting The Goal
This involves talking about what brought the conflict about and which problems are preventing a resolution. This helps you to find solutions and handle issues. If you come across barriers that cannot be resolved, talk about how you can get around them.
5. Agree On The Best Way To Resolving The Conflict
The final step is to identify solutions that you can both live with, and discuss the responsibilities that you will each have to maintain the solution. It is worthwhile vocalising what you have both agreed to – you are more likely to continue with the agreement if you do this.
If These Conflict Resolution Steps Don’t Work…
There are times when it may be necessary to involve a professional to help resolve your conflict. This shouldn’t be seen as a failure, and taking professional advice is a rational and reasonable option if you are unable to solve your disagreement. There are various steps that you can take:
- Mediation – this is one of the most informal methods of resolution, and involves a neutral third party who facilitates discussion.
- Arbitration – in this case, the neutral third party would act as judge and decide on an outcome.
- Litigation – a judge or jury decides the outcome, and the case will stay on public record.
If you reach the litigation stage, finding a skilled dispute resolution solicitor should be your top priority. Here at Beeston Shenton, we are experienced in conflict resolution and can effectively advise you and mitigate on your behalf to reach the best possible outcome. Contact us today.