Steps to Solve a Conflict

  • Identify the type of the conflict – this first step is very important because each type of conflict (interpersonal conflicts, intergroup conflicts, interest conflicts, value conflicts, relationship conflicts, emotional conflicts) needs a certain strategy.
  • Be aware of the aggressive responses and their consequences, also of the alternatives – aggressiveness generates just aggressiveness, only finding out alternative ways to react to the violence you can stop the boomerang effects of the violence.
  • Face up the conflict rather than avoid it – you have to be aware of the negative consequences such as irritability, tension and the persistence of the problems, if you avoid the conflict.
  • Respect yourself and your interests, but also the other and his interests – everyone must have a positive self-image and the proper respect so the insights on the conflict to be realistic. The approach based on respect always eliminates inappropriate tactics.
  • Accept and understand cultural differences – people around you are from various cultures which imply different ways of thinking, dressing, beliefs and values. So something that is obvious and right to some of us could be otherwise for other ones.
  • Make the difference between interests and “taking stands” – the positions of some people could be opposite even if their interests are not. For example, two people want the same object but each one is interested on some part or advantage of it.
  • Explore personal and other’s interests to identify common ideas and compatibilities – when you analyze not only your but also other’s attitudes, it increases the empathy between you and the probability to find out a solution to the problem.
  • Consider conflict interests as a mutual problem that can be solved by cooperation – if you can’t identify a way to the mutual gain, at least set up some rules for the mutual understanding.
  • Communicate and listen to the other – try to put yourself in his position, efficient communication is an important element for finding a constructive solution. Active listening has to be the primary and only behavior in a conflict because it helps to find out other’s opinion.
  • Be careful to elements like subjectivity, subjective perception of reality, thinking stereotypes present in a conflict – generally, subjective perceptions and judgments make hard to reach the empathy. Further on, there is an obvious tendency to assign aggressive intentions to the other.

Psychologist, Nicoleta Cramaruc