There is no miracle way to end a conflict, but the following approach might help you settle a conflict effectively.
- Step 1 – Set the scene
In this step, your goal is to establish mutual respect between each other and identify the common goal of resolving the conflict and growing your relationship. It can be helpful to be in a neutral setting.
- Step 2 – Gather information
This is an opportunity for both sides to present their views and concerns. Remember these key points as you listen to the other person:
- Ask the other person for his or her point of view and genuinely confirm that you respect his or her opinion.
- Listen actively. Put your point of view aside and really listen to what the other person is saying. You will have a chance to present your view.
- Present your view calmly and honestly. Speak assertively without being too aggressive or submissive.
- Use “I” statements – “I feel…” “I’m frustrated because…” Do not make accusations toward the other person or place blame.
- Step 3 – Agree about the problem
This may sound obvious but confirming what the conflict is all about will ensure that you are working toward the same goal. People can perceive the same situation in very different ways. You may actually discover that you are frustrated about different things.
- Step 4 – Brainstorm possible solutions
Both sides should come up with possible solutions. This way, everyone involved feels like they had impact on the final outcome.
- Step 5 – Implement the solution
Once you come to a mutually accepted solution, be genuine in implementing it. Express that you will make a good faith effort moving forward. As long as everyone stays calm and open-minded, a resolution can happen quickly and in a way that builds relationships over time.