Conflict management techniques
In general, the word "conflict" has a somewhat pejorative connotation, it is seen as a bad thing to be avoided. We think differently. Every society, community, organisation, human relationship goes through conflicts from time to time in the course of everyday interaction.
How should we look at our conflicts?
- Conflict is therefore not "of the devil", but a natural part of life, and a vehicle for problem-solving, if the conflict parties have the right tools at their disposal. Conflict can also be a means of peaceful change - and thus a key to stability.
- Conflicts are a way of expressing different opinions and interests in a more focused way, which encourages people to express their interdependence and to seek forward-looking solutions, despite the conflict.
Therefore, conflicts can be the basis for a higher order of balance, resilient, trusting relationships, if managed properly.
- In order to approach conflict constructively, we need to accept it as a difference between behaviours, attitudes, feelings, needs, goals or values that we regularly encounter in our daily lives.
What conflict management techniques exist?
Most conflicts arise between people in contact with each other, around competition and cooperation. Conflicts most often arise because the parties to the conflict are competing with each other, even when cooperation would be beneficial to all. They are unable to take steps towards cooperation, nor do they accept the initiative to cooperate, because they do not recognise that they are interdependent in a common situation and can only achieve their own goals through effective cooperation. In our training courses we impart theoretical and practical conflict management skills. And when clients come to us with their own conflicts, we apply techniques that are appropriate to the situation. Here are some of them to try when you are in conflict with someone.
- Retrieved from open questionsto ask the other person, even if we think we know what the other person will say. It's worth putting aside our prejudices and bad experiences to put the conversation on a new footing.
- It's worth stopping in the conversation from time to time and Summary fromwhere we are now. This is useful because it gives us a chance to look at the situation and see if we have understood the other person, who can clarify what we have said if necessary.
- It is good to discuss in advance what kind of TopicsWe want to find solutions in a transparent and predictable way, because predictability and transparency build trust.
- Instead of strengthening our own position, we should seek common solutions, share important information and recognise that we are interdependent in the solution.
- The very fact that certain rulesat and framesset up at the beginning of a conflict management process, it helps to be able to talk in a different tone. The rules we apply include speaking respectfully to each other, not qualifying each other, listening to each other and keeping the conversation confidential. We also we agree in advance how much time we will spend talking, because the more predictable and clear the framework is, the easier it is to talk constructively about difficult situations.
What is needed for successful conflict resolution?
There is no script or recipe for dealing with our conflicts. Different types of conflict can often be dealt with in different ways, and there may be other, deeper causes behind a conflict, so it is worth exploring these too. What is certain, however, is that if we take a conscious approach to our conflicts, i.e:
- if we are aware of the causes of the conflict
- what stage of the conflict we are at,
- and what strategies, communication tools and experts are available to us,
we will be more likely to be able to work out solutions that are acceptable to all. Competition, accommodation, compromise, consensus building and even temporary avoidance of conflict can all be valid strategies if we are aware of the above components of the conflict process.
How can an external conflict management specialist help?
At Partners Hungary Foundation, we support people who come to us to give them the tools to manage their conflicts.
- We provide conflict management training for individuals and groups
- We train conflict management professionals
- We also help to resolve conflicts between individuals and groups!