Conflicts seldom go away by themselves. They require open, clear, deliberate communication if they are going to be resolved. Often a conflict evaporates when the different points of view get a chance to be heard in a calm setting. Those who are experienced at conflict resolution have learned to follow these steps.

Is there a conflict in your life that needs to be resolved?

Why not share these steps with the other person and see if you can agree to use them to achieve a resolution? Afterwards, write a few notes about what worked and what didn’t work.

1. Arrange a meeting with all parties involved in the conflict.
2. Acknowledge that there is a conflict. Make sure all parties verbally agree on the nature of the conflict.
3. When discussing your role in the conflict, use “I” statements.
Encourage others to do the same.
4. Ask direct questions about the situation.
5. Confirm your understanding. For example: “If I understand correctly, this is how you see the situation…”
6. Tell the other parties what outcome you want and ask what they want.
7. Whether or not you come to an agreement; agree to work toward a resolution that benefits everyone; and schedule a follow-up meeting, if necessary.


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