Conflict resolution is a process that varies from person to person, and group to group. Do what works for you: if it stops working do something else.
Fundamental to resolving problems is making sure that all parties are aware of the issues involved.
- Describe the conflict.
- Who disagrees with who?
- What went wrong?
- Summarize how you came into the problem.
- Some detailed discussion of conflict description should go here.
- Describe your actions.
- What have you done so far?
- How did you communicate?
- Summarize what you've done so far, including any missteps.
- Don't try to place blame or make judgments with this step. Most people will feel personally attacked and refuse to continue with conflict resolution if you are unable to present some impartiality when explaining the problem.
- Try to recall any unconscious signaling you may have employed. Are you aware of the messages your communication patterns may inadvertently send?
- Describe what the problem is with the conflict.
- Why is it necessary to solve this issue?
- Is a compromise or solution feasible?
- Determine if a resolution is possible and worth your time to find.
- Not every problem needs to be solved. Sometimes merely stating that there is an issue and agreeing to tread lightly because of it is all anyone needs to do, and sometimes you need to sit down and hash out a compromise.
- Compromising is not easy. All parties must be willing to give a little, but not so much that they are made uncomfortable later by the agreements they've made to satisfy others.