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8 Steps For Conflict Resolution Overview1. "Know Thyself" and Take Care of Self2. Clarify Personal Needs Threatened by the Dispute3. Identify a Safe Place for Negotiation4. Take a Listening Stance into the Interaction5. Assert Your Needs Clearly and Specifically6. Approach Problem-Solving with Flexibility7. Manage Impasse with Calm, Patience, and Respect8. Build an Agreement that WorksAbout ConflictWhat is Conflict? Definitions and Assumptions About ConflictConflict is Normal: Anticipating Conflicts Likely to Arise in the WorkplaceConflict Styles and Their ConsequencesHow we Respond to Conflict: Thoughts, Feelings, and Physical ResponsesThe Role of Perceptions in ConflictWhy do we tend to avoid dealing with Conflict?What is Conflict? Definitions and Assumptions About Conflict We define conflict as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Within this simple definition there are several important understandings that emerge:Disagreement- Generally, we are aware there is some level of difference in the positions of the two (or more) parties involved in the conflict. But the true disagreement versus the perceived disagreement may be quite different from one another. In fact, conflict tends to be accompanied by significant levels of misunderstanding that exaggerate the perceived disagreement considerably. If we can understand the true areas of disagreement, this will help us solve the right problems and manage the true needs of the parties. Parties involved- There are often disparities in our sense of who is involved in the conflict. Sometimes, people are surprised to learn they are a party to the conflict, while other times we are shocked to learn we arenot included in the disagreement. On many occasions, people who are seen as part of the social system (e.g.,
work team, family, company) are influenced to participate in the dispute, whether they would personally define the situation in that way or not. In the above example, people very readily "take sides" based upon current perceptions of the issues, past issues and relationships, roles within the organization, and other factors. The parties involved can become an elusive concept to define.Perceived threat- People respond to the perceived threat, rather than the true threat, facing them. Thus, while perception doesn't become reality per se, people's behaviors, feelings and ongoing responses become modified by that evolving sense of the threat they confront. If we can work to understand the true threat (issues) and develop strategies (solutions) that manage it (agreement), we are acting constructively to manage the conflict.