Conflict resolution – what does that mean?
Conflict resolution does not always mean that a conflict has been resolved. It just means that you have made peace with the person, issue, or outcome. Enough said….. Ha! If it were only that simple. Logically it is that simple, emotionally there’s so much more to uncover. When we are experiencing conflict, it’s because we find ourselves on a different side of a perspective.
Conflicts are often uncomfortable. The word itself, means discord, inharmonious, friction and/or division. There are so many synonyms that I could use to describe the word conflict. So, how do we resolve conflict?
First, it starts with understanding and appreciating that people are all very different. You will never find one person that you will agree with 100% of the time unless you are looking in the mirror. Even then, you will disagree with yourself on something.
There are welcomed differences in people and not so welcomed differences in people. Often when we cannot agree with someone’s perspective, value, view, or condition on something, we quit listening. Then we impose our own perspectives, values, views, or conditions. This is where the conflicts can come in. Conflict is always tied to an emotion. This bears repeating, CONFLICT IS ALWAYS TIED TO AN EMOTION.
I would like to offer a way to help resolve of soften conflict. Instead of not listening anymore, meet them with a sense of curiosity, and ask questions when a conflict arises. A phrase that I often say is: “tell me more.” Or “help me understand?” Remember, you are communicating with another human being that has a different perspective than yours. That’s all. The key is to NOT be emotionally attached to the outcome. Honor the humanity in people and celebrate the differences. I know that is easier said, than done. Your feelings towards other people’s perspectives is where the emotion lies and truly where the conflict lies. You cannot control other people’s thoughts or opinions. You can only clean up your own emotional opinions and your own emotional thoughts about the issue.
So, communicating in a way that allows others to be heard builds trust and respect even if you don’t agree. Speak your truths and allow others to speak their truths without making them wrong. Remember, it’s just a difference of perspectives even if it seems like a flawed premise.
I often find that when I ask questions when a conflict arises, I learn something about the person that I am having the conflict with. It helps me understand how they have obtained their perspective on the issue. It doesn’t mean that the conflict is resolved or that I agreed with them. It just means that I have made peace with the person, issue or outcome.
I would like to challenge you to allow people to have their own perspectives on things without sparking an emotional conflict. Just be curious and embrace that everyone is different.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What’s your effective method for resolving conflicts?
Read my blog on Effective Communication to tie in with Conflict Resolution.
Author: Certified Life Coach Michelle Navarro