CONFLICT RESOLUTION & RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT...
Appropriate Resolutions for life’s relationships.
When the conflict 'monster rears it sometimes ugly head, it may seem initially confusing to most people. Jumping helter-skelter into the fray or barrelling headlong into conflict, people most often encounter foreseeable and oft predictable consequences.
In my early years as a negotiator, I often chose 'fight or flight as my preferred options for getting what I wanted. In those early days, I rarely chose to engage in meaningful processes unless it suited my strategic purposes; and even then, only when nothing else was working. What I've also observed, and learned over the years is that I was not unique. Those people who seem to have similar barriers to collaborative options ensure that lawyers and mediators will make good 'livings' well into the future.
Here is one map with options which will make a difference when conflict threatens a relationship which is important to you:
STEP 1: Step back from the interaction clearly stating why you are doing so: for example you might say something like: "I am confused about the issue we are discussing and am feeling some emotions on the subject. I need some time to think about it. "Is that ok with you?" Make sure that those involved agree to some dedicated time during which you can process the issues, the differences which threaten your relationship with the other(s); do not give in to avoidance of a 'difficult conversation' since an important issue (to any of those involved) will not go away and may become an 'open and festering relational sore'.
STEP 2: Decide what you want the relationship to look like. e.g.: conflictual or collaborative. This decision will no doubt depend on whether you 'HAVE' to interact with the person(s) in the future and the type of interactions which you might face in which the other(s) will be involved such as decision-making, problem-solving, direction, leadership, personal.
STEP 3: Re-focus on what you want to accomplish in the (broader) context such as the relationships involved. This re-focussing will be a critical strategy to manage emotions while dealing with what is really important;
STEP 4: Plan on how to realize your relational goal(s) as specifically as you can. e.g.: If either you or the other(s) begin to become emotional, if any issue becomes 'personalized' by anybody involved, plan on how to re-focus the conversation on the broader issue of working/interacting in ways which serve the relationship needs. For example: "We have to work together and I would prefer the relationship to be amicable; one place to start would be by working together how we will problem-solve our differences, what would work best for both of us. More on steps 4 – 6...
ABOUT Conflict... What conflicts look like…
Disputes … WHAT DO DISPUTES LOOK LIKE, and how do people react or respond when conflicts escalate into disputes? (the many faces of conflict),.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION TIPS AND GUIDELINES: Strategies and behaviours for you to apply when in conflict.
CONFLICT CHRONICLES: Original stories by Joseph Ravick with a common theme. The chronicles feature real-life conflicts describing the people, their relationships, and the outcomes which they experienced whether they liked it or not.