How to Prevent or Resolve Conflicts and Reduce Misunderstanding
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Many people try to avoid conflict at all costs and often tend to blame someone or something else if it happens.
This reaction does not resolve the conflict and could make the situation worse, although misunderstandings are an integral part of life. Typically, a vast array of problems could trigger conflicts in a community or organization. Conflict can occur in many different ways, including political, economic, social, religious, cultural, or even personal issues.
If the conflict is not resolved, it can be highly destructive and severely damage the community or organization. The following section discusses some of the most common factors that lead to conflict situations within an organization. The good news is, you can minimize the potential risks of conflict and resolve the dispute constructively by taking some preventive and constructive steps. Want to learn more about it? Here we go…
What is a Conflict?
Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship; after all, you cannot expect two people to agree on everything all the time. When handled respectfully and positively, conflicts can strengthen the bond between two people. In contrast, when taken with bias, they can do great harm to any relationship. The key is to avoid conflict and learn how to resolve disputes with a positive approach. With the right training on conflict resolution skills, you can strengthen and further develop your personal and professional relationships.
Conflicts arise from differences in viewpoints and can lead to severe consequences for both parties- whether in the workplace or personal relationships. Conflicts trigger strong feelings, which manifest that they touch our deep emotional needs. These needs can range from a need for security to a desire for comfort when dealing with others. Sometimes these needs seem trivial, but they often occur when people disagree on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other personal issues.
Parents strive to protect the safety of children by restricting research that is normal in infants. Think of the conflicting needs of a toddler and a parent: can you allow your child to walk down a road or cliff, or is the child more likely to explore the path safely if protected?
Personal needs play an essential role in addressing any problem that a child or adult may face. However, if these needs are contradictory, conflicts may arise due to a lack of understanding between the parties involved. In personal relationships, a lack of understanding of different needs can lead to quarrels and disturbances. At the workplace, conflicts can lead to disruption, such as upward mobility, falling profits, and loss of trust and respect.
Identifying conflicting needs and exploring them with compassion and understanding can lead to healthy-style conflict resolution. Consequently, a positive environment strengthens relationships, builds trust, increases empathy for others, and improves relationships. Conflict triggers stark emotions, which ultimately lead to hurt feelings, discomfort, and disappointment. On the other side, disputes can harm other people, especially children or the elderly, when treated inappropriately.
If you cannot control your feelings or can barely cope with your emotions, you tend to overlook other people’s needs. First, you need to recognize what bothers you as the first step to reducing your stress level. For this reason, couples often argue about small things, such as ways to hang up the towel or sip the soup, rather than going into the issues that bother them.
Prevent the Conflict
In some cases, the best strategy to avoid conflict is to let it go or ignore it. Drop the issue because it is unlikely to improve the situation. Ask what the benefits might be if you raise the problem and if there might be any potential risks if you disregard it altogether. If you are upset, switch over to something else, such as a conversation with a friend, family member, or even a work colleague.
If you are involved in a workplace conflict, you may choose to address the situation to avoid similar problems in the future and to maintain your integrity. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to avoid conflict, and we may have to deal with the issue directly. If you feel you have to talk to the person, that’s fine, but don’t shout at them, blame them or blame yourself. Treat other people with respect when addressing them; it will make you feel better about yourself and others.
If you tell your friend something in secret and find out he discloses it, it will surely hurt your feelings. You will most likely avoid dealing with this person in the future. If you need to deal with the same person again, take your time to think about it, postpone the conversation until you can calm down, and think of it peacefully. Allow yourself a day or two to rethink the situation and clarify your thoughts and feelings if you can afford it. But don’t make it too long – otherwise, you may overreact or do something wrong.
If you get into a conflict with a colleague, you can write an email saying, “I need a little more time to process this, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Can we talk about it tonight, or will we just forget it in the days or weeks ahead?” It should be noted that a dispute does not improve the situation, but it is not necessarily a bad thing either. When you start to develop intensive feelings towards another person, take a moment to see what is happening, and explain why the relationships hurt.
If you get into an argument with a colleague, try to say that you are not moving towards a solution to the problem. Instead, let us sit down and discuss the issue and work together to find a solution. Use humor when appropriate; it will help to defuse tense situations: There are times when you can make a joke to avoid getting into an argument.
Don’t make a joke at the expense of others: Don’t say something common – but make jokes about what you think, like “I think I’ll definitely get the job,” or “Linda is looking for a proposal.” Other people may be critical of your work and, if so, don’t make a joke of it by saying: “Look, Linda will look at your proposal!”
Don’t react to minor problems by escalating them: If you face a small problem, such as a misunderstanding with a colleague, try to involve a mediator to smoothen it. Try to clarify if something has happened and if you can do anything to help. If your staff is prone to get into minor disputes about points or disagree, ask your HR manager to act as a mediator to help you resolve the issue.
Prevent and Resolve Misunderstandings
If you are surprised when someone disagrees with you or criticizes your behavior, it can lead to problems and solutions. “Listening to your partner’s perspective is a key,” Rastogi notes, and it helps to make progress on the issue. “Avoid being right to yourself and avoid being wrong about what is right for you,” the researcher recommends.
Rather than understanding how the situation affected their partner, couples are often too busy formulating their rebuttal, the researcher says. Couples can be hyperactive, focus on their thoughts, and ignore their own feelings when arguing. Avoid relying on a flood of misunderstandings and try to indulge in the needs of other people. When you start arguing, you should pause, take a deep breath and figure out how you feel,” Hansen says, “and then stop again. Focus on listening to your partner’s view again, rather than your own as the researcher advises.
Sadness or disappointment is something else, so think about your feelings and share them with your partner. If you feel you don’t care, say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t care” he says.
When a conflict escalates, take a break – it can be anything from a walk to breathing exercises. When things get out of hand, couples need to take an agreed, calming break to restore their relationship.
The key is to do something to reduce anger – consider your partner an ally. Remember, your partners are not your enemy. Once you have calmed down, you listen to each other’s feelings and focus on resolving your worries. A change of perspective can help you to understand each other better and to find solutions to problems.
Hansen gives an example: “I believe very much in the power of perspective and the importance of understanding.” How do we forget to take an interest in our friends, family members, colleagues, and even our neighbors? We want to be heard and confirmed, and we want to feel appreciated not just by our friends and family, but also by the people around us.
Here you will find counseling of a professional couple therapist, and we will respond to your needs and let you work together to solve your problems. Conflict is inevitable when dealing with other people, but a healthy couple can overcome conflict constructively and work together positively. Think about your feelings, express them calmly, listen carefully to your partner, and remember that you are one team.
Tips for Managing and Resolving Conflict and Improving Your Ability to Resolve Conflict
When we listen carefully to other people, we connect with our interlocutorы, as well as our own needs and emotions. Not only do we listen to what we feel and say, but we also strengthen our feelings, which, in turn, make it easier for us to hear each other during conversation. Being careful listeners unveils both our own needs and those of other people around us.
Maintaining and strengthening our relations should always be our top priority rather than winning every argument. Be open to new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways of thinking, yet be open and honest with yourself. If you harbor resentment about past conflicts, you impair your ability to recognize your current needs. Instead of looking into the past and apportioning blame, focus on what you can do here and now to solve the problem.
Conflicts can be stressful, and their implications can be devastating, so think whether the topic is really worth your time and energy. You may not want to give up a parking space after a 15-minute drive in a circle, but if there are dozens of empty spaces, is it worth arguing about a specific spot? Resolving a conflict is impossible if one does not want or cannot forgive the other. A constructive approach means letting go of the urge for punishment since it can only exhaust and empty your life.
It takes two people to keep a dispute going, and when the conflict goes nowhere, one can decide to withdraw. Choosing and applying the right conflict resolution strategies will allow you to develop better relationships with other people. If you use specific conflict resolution skills appropriate to the conflict situation, you can improve your interaction with other people. After all, it is up to you to choose and apply the best strategies for resolving conflicts, instead of the most familiar or inappropriate approaches.