No one can say that he truly enjoys conflict. However not only is it often necessary in order to resolve an issue and for people to move on but, as individuals with many different beliefs, values, experiences, cultural and religious backgrounds, perhaps we should not be too surprised that conflict is inevitable from time to time. It is important, that conflicts, disputes or disagreements, are resolved to the best of our abilities and as quickly as possible. There are certain things we should consider when trying to resolve a conflict satisfactorily. Below are some tips that may assist.
Respect for the other person is often difficult to conceive of when we are faced with a conflict but we must try and it is extremely essential as well as demanded of us by our Torah Hakedoshah. If we disregard the basics of respect for others, then we are likely to use inappropriate language, speak with sarcasm, or throw insults completely unrelated to the issues we disagree over, which in turn can create a rift from which the relationship might never recover.
Time and Place
It is important to agree to a time and a place (preferably on neutral ground) where both people can meet to try and talk through their differences.
Stick to the Issue
Be certain that you have defined the issue before you discuss it. And once the issue has been defined clearly, stick to that issue ONLY. It is fine to bring up behavior patterns, feelings, desired changes and consequences during a conflict resolution but we must stick to the issue and not personalize it. In other words, address the behavior but not the person himself.
Be Prepared to Listen, Really Listen
It is necessary to allow the person who has the grievance, the space and time to communicate his feelings without interruption and for you to show that you are listening to him and taking his view seriously and to heart. Take each issue one at a time and then show the same respect and courtesy to the person you have a grievance with in letting them respond without interruptions too.
Remember That This Is Not a Battle
Be careful not to perceive a conflict as a battle you must win at all costs. Look at it as a problem that is going to take action on both parts to resolve.
Put Yourself in The Other Person’s Shoes
Try to understand the other person’s point of view and visualize if you can how you might react and feel if you were standing in his shoes. Quite often, you might find that you have overlooked something that can dramatically change your perception of your perceived grievance.
Agree to Disagree
Once you have explored all of your options, you may find that both sides may have had to make some compromises. Nevertheless, even if you still find that you disagree on some issues, make sure you come away with some kind of workable solution that is satisfactory to both parties and which allows you to put the conflict to rest so you can move forward in a mature, respectable and honorable manner. Wherever possible, try to reach a ‘win-win’ solution for both sides, even If the ‘wins’ on both sides are small.
Compromise is important in any conflict resolution. Not only does it enable both sides to feel that they are receiving something they want out of the resolution but it also demonstrates a feeling of goodwill on both sides to try to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome.
Conflicts will occur in both our personal and professional lives from time to time. Quite often they come about as a result of change which we all have to go through in all aspects of our lives from time to time. Why? Because life evolves, it does not simply stand still. Therefore, what may have worked in the past may no longer be appropriate and conflict simply enables us to make a few tweaks here and there so that we can adapt accordingly and then move on in harmony.