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truecomedian's avatar

What are some basic tips for conflict resolution?

Asked by truecomedian (3932points) August 10th, 2010

I know this is a little vague, but it’s important. How do you resolve a conflict, how do you make peace? How do you endure when peace is not an option? Need both offense and defensive ideas. How to be diplomatic when dealing with an irrational foe? What steps do you take to get yourself out of a crisis?

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11 Answers

MissA's avatar

I’m looking forward to your answers, as I could
use a little assistance in that department as well.
Peace at all cost????

Rarebear's avatar

I recommend a book. Crucial Conversations.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

The best way to resolve a conflict is to learn to empathise with the other person’s point of view. That way you can both relate to them and produce arguments that will be effective against what their ideas actually are. Keep a cool head, make sure all your actions are beyond reproach, and then just weather the storm.

YARNLADY's avatar

l. No name calling
2. Keep to the current issue, no bringing up past arguments
3. Always remember you are not there to prove you are right, but to come to an understanding.
4. (for couples)You love this person.
5. (for others) You do not want to hurt this person
See how to fight fair

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Goodbye” always works for me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

My husband and I made an agreement a long time ago that anything over 6 weeks old is done and over with and we won’t bring it up again once it is resolved. I really liked the idea, so I try to keep that in mind all the time when something comes up. I tend to get very emotional when I’m upset, so I have to take a minute (or ten) to calm myself down sometimes. I just explain that to whoever I’m talking to. My personal rules are similar to what @YARNLADY posted. If the other person is calling me names, or being rude otherwise, I just tell them that I cannot talk to them while they are that upset and suggest that we take a break and resume the conversation when we are both calmer.

zophu's avatar

Find a pragmatic reason to stop fighting that all parties can understand. It’s usually easier to do than it seems.

AC's avatar

I don’t mean to pry but I suppose my reaction would depend on the context of the conflict.

How easy it is to extricate yourself from a situation can have a bearing on how you react, because some things aren’t worth fighting over. For example, that someone pushed in and took the last beef joint from the meat counter would annoy me but not result in open verbal warfare.

I think it helps to try and detach yourself emotionally (where possible) to a point where you can discuss the issues without attacking the identity of the other person.

1. You can’t force someone to agree with you
2. You have to accept that some people don’t want to listen
3. When you can’t agree it’s about how you manage that
4. Remember that people are not their behaviours
5. If you get to the stage where your brain floods emotionally, all that will come out is basic emotional ranting – so if you’re getting too angry, go take a break and resume when calm.
6. Just try to remember that a dispute is not a personal challenge to win or the last chance in your life, ever, to defend your honour and worth. You do that every day throughout your life and the people that matter will notice.

Another thing I always try is to let the emotion of something pass through me, even if only for a second, before I reply. Instant retort rarely produces anything constructive.

Haustere's avatar

State the facts.

If both sides seem like they’re never going to agree with eachother, point out that it’s pointless if neither side wants to listen to the other and try prod them into the right direction. If you want to fully resolve the conflict, try to fully understand each side’s reason for their opposition and pick apart the reasons logically and build up a common ground between the two.

I’ve kept this brief because I know I can go on forever about these kinds of things. You’ll notice that conflict still exists today because no one has ever found that one true and simple answer to everything. These kinds of situations are mostly circumstantial and resolutions to such situations are bound to be a bit… loopy. Be creative.

As for me, I usually utilize an embarrassing story relating to the topic to bring a little bit of a pleasant atmosphere into the argument. People are much more reasonable when they’re content. Also, if i’m armed with the knowledge that a particular argument will never resolve itself, I take measures to prevent such a confrontation.

Good luck in your peace-seeking. :B

Edit: Bleh, I misread the question. I hope you find this useful anyway.
cue nervous gesture

LostInParadise's avatar

One of the big problems with personal arguments is the tendency to go around in circles, repeating the same set of disagreements over and over. To get around this it might help to use some formal structure. The first thing I would have each person do is to state the other person’s position. There is not much point in having an argument if you do not understand what the other person is saying. Then I would use a large whiteboard or maybe a computer document to have each person outline their reasoning. Each person then has the chance to write refutations of the other person’s points. You could then have refutations of the refutations. In most cases, I doubt that this process would go beyond two or three stages.

At the very least, this process will allow each person to see the other person’s point of view. There may be an impasse, but there may also be a need for further information that may help decide the argument one way or the other. The best part is that there will come an end to the process. If either person insists on continuing then the other simply asks if there is any point to make that has not already been written down. I so hate nagging.

mattbrowne's avatar

There are no easy ways when it’s about serious conflicts. Some conflicts even need a third neutral person. Basic tips?

- determine whether it’s a 1:0 or a 1:1 conflict. The difference is very important
– tell the other person what you appreciate about him or her
– never use the word you when you start discussing the difficult parts
– always use the word I or me and point out the impact of certain behavior on you

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