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Strategies for Managing Conflict Resolution

Throughout our lives everyone including children, adolescents, and adults will encounter disagreements at some point in their lives. Given the stress and mental impact these disagreements and conflicts may have on our lives, it is important to learn about the skills and strategies to help provide resolutions. Here are some tips for managing conflict resolutions. 

What is Conflict Resolution

First, we want to define conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is a method of thinking through confrontations, disagreements, and other stressful situations. Conflict resolution also includes the practices of identifying your role in certain situations and having accountability. The goal of conflict resolution is to 1. understand the conflict,  2. think through methods to manage the situation and 3. create an action plan for resolution.  

Common Tips to Help Resolve Conflicts

Some common tips to help resolve conflicts include: 

  • Thoroughly think through the situation by taking a step back. Before reacting, pause and think things through with a calm mind. Remember that you do not need to respond immediately and that taking a break can be beneficial for both parties.  
  • Perform active listening. Take time to really listen to what the other person is saying, try to see their perspective, reflect and respond. Remember what was said in the future if similar incidents occur. 
  • Communicate without hostility or blame. It can be helpful to use “I” statements. For example: “I feel ____ when ____ because _____. Next time please _____.” 
  • Understand your own defensiveness. Ask yourself, Why is this triggering me? Is there something else that is causing me to respond this way? 
  • Find common ground. Is there something that you can agree on or both benefit from in the situation? Can you relate it to a previous incident with another friend or loved one? 
  • Look at the situation from the other person’s viewpoint. Practice empathy- put yourself in their shoes. 
  • Know that conflict in certain situations can be healthy for growth. Remember that both parties can develop and learn from resolving a dispute. 

How is Conflict Resolution Helpful

One of the key areas where conflicts arise is in the relationships between parents and teenagers. These conflicts between parents and teenagers are normal. By applying the conflict resolution skills listed above, this can provide a safe space where families can engage one another to help resolve areas of conflict. 

These tips are helpful because they give a voice both to each member of the family. The tips for conflict resolution help to open up communication, identify issues, and reach mutual resolutions. The issues may resolve around house rules, discipline, family expectations, school/work, and even styles of communication. Thus it is important to remember the goal to  1. understand the conflict,  2. think through methods to manage the situation and 3. create an action plan for resolution.  

For more information on conflict resolution strategies, check out the additional resources below: