Conflict Resolution

We all have moments of frustration whether they be associated with a friend, a family member, or a disagreement in your everyday life, but there are several positive strategies to utilize when it comes to dealing with conflict.

What qualifies as a conflict?

According to the Office of Human Resource Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conflict is understood by analyzing various behaviors and the consequences each behavior produces on individuals living the dilemma.

  • Avoidance:  Avoidance is evident when a person chooses not to deal with conflict, they may ignore it, change the subject, shut down and withdraw or simply pretend the conflict doesn't exist. Unfortunately, the conflict does not disappear. The problem underneath the surface swells until it’s no longer avoidable and will need to be addressed.
  • Standing your Ground: People who use this technique may appear controlling and aggressive in their means of communication. They fear not having their needs met if they don’t set the rules and direct situations.
  • Surrendering: Often perceived as the diplomat, the person using this tactic concedes to the needs of others. They place the needs and opinions of others above their own because preserving the relationship(s) is the ultimate goal.   
  • Collaborate: People who practice collaboration care about win-win solutions. This simply means that they scout common aspirations and needs, to where every party knows their opinions and feeling are important and are going to be heard. This style requires cooperation, assertiveness and open communication among the parties.

Ultimately, understanding your wants and needs as well as your behavior patterns will establish internal insight. You will have a better understanding for not just yourself, but for others around you and how situations may or may not unfold. This knowledge will give you the preliminary tools for conflict resolution.

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