People have varying degrees of comfort with conflict. Some prefer avoiding it at all costs. Unfortunately, those costs tend to increase the longer issues are left unaddressed. Therefore, learning how to manage and resolve conflict is to your benefit. When dealing with conflict: 

  • Treat it as normal and expected. Conflict need not be catastrophic or personal. Conflict is simply part of being human.
  • Deal with issues as they arise. Avoiding conflict makes situations worse. Time does not resolve matters. Instead, it decreases the chance of a positive outcome.
  • Attempt to understand the other person’s point of view. Dismissing the other’s views, assigning blame, and exclusive focus on your own perspective are all counterproductive. 
  • Don’t judge emotions. No one’s feelings are more or less “right” than the other’s. Emotions reflect a valid perspective of an individual. Even if you don’t understand it, acknowledge the other person’s reaction as important.
  • Focus on the behavior, situation or problem area without attacking the person involved.
  • Do not assume your values or beliefs are “right.” They reflect a view of the world from your unique perspective. Respecting another’s viewpoint as equally valuable opens an opportunity for learning and growth.

Dealing with conflict does not need to be dreaded or feared. Interpersonal conflict is a natural component of human interaction. In fact, if the problem is the object of focus versus the people involved, disagreements can generate new ideas and growth. Dealing with issues as they occur, acknowledging the other party’s feelings and perspective, and avoiding judgment or blame further increase the chance of productive conflict resolution.

Leave a Reply