8-Step Conflict Resolution Process
Deal effectively with Anger
- You can’t negotiate a good agreement if you and /or the other person are too angry to think straight or if you don’t acknowledge your feelings.
Do Your Homework (think before you approach)
- How does this conflict affect each of you?
- What interests or values are at stake here for each of us?
- What prejudices or assumptions do we each have about the other?
- What approach or style would be best here (avoid, complete, collaborate, etc.)?
- If I want to collaborate, what would be the right time and place to initiate that?
Set a Positive Tone
- Invite the other person to negotiate. (Could we talk?”)
- State positive intentions. (I’d like to make things better between us?)
- Acknowledge and validate the other person. (I can see this is difficult for you, too. Thank you for working with me on this.)
Use Ground Rules (they may be stated or unstated)
- One person talk at a time.
- Work to improve the situation.
- Stay calm.
Discuss and Define the Problem
- One at a time, each person shares issues and feelings.
- Use effective listening and speaking techniques.
- Identify interests and needs.
- If necessary, discuss assumptions, suspicions, and values.
- Summarize new understandings.
Brainstorming Possible Solutions
- Each person contributes ideas to satisfy interests and needs.
- Don’t criticize or evaluate ideas yet.
- Be creative.
- Use “I can…” or “We could…” rather than “You should…” or “You’d better…”
Evaluate and Choose Solutions
Solutions should be:
- mutually agreeable
Solutions should address the main interest of both parties.
Follow Up With One Another
- Check back with each other at an agreed time and date.
- If the agreement isn’t working, use the same process to revise it.