Handout 7 - Conflict Resolution

Sometimes we can get quite angry. We may feel that something is unfair or mean, we are not getting our fair share or the other person is being unreasonable. So what do we end up doing – getting upset and
into a fight or conflict with another person, throwing a tantrum and ending up in a very unpleasant situation or being mean? However, does this solve the problem or resolve the conflict? No.

Four steps to conflict resolution
Well, what could you do? Try to sort things out in a way that everyone gets fair treatment in the situation and tension is ended. For this, there are four steps you could undertake:

Understand

  • Everyone needs to understand what the conflict is about. To do so, everyone needs to:
  • Say what they feel about it without interruption.
  • Listen to what others have to say without interrupting them
  • Try to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and try to understand their point of view

Avoid making things worse

  • Do not make nasty and mean remarks that are intended to hurt the other person’s feelings. Do not make personal remarks about the other person’s looks, gender or things they are uncomfortable about that may have happened in the past. Do not raise your voice or shout or try to physically hurt the other person.

Work together through active listening

  • Make ‘I’ statements, like:
    • ‘I feel hurt when...’
    • ‘I need to feel or be...’
    • ‘I hear what you’re saying, but I feel...’
  • Use your active listening skills – maintain good non-verbal communication and body posture; paraphrase and make reflective statements. Once everyone has listened to each other and seem to understand what the problem is, then try to look for a solution jointly.

Find the solution

  • Brainstorm together about ways in which you could resolve the conflict. Think of as many solutions as you can, even if they seem silly at first. Another person may be helpful to write down your ideas or suggest ways of making your ideas work so that you can resolve the conflict.
     
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