Conflict is a part of everyday life, occurring naturally as a result of people trying to fulfill a variety of needs. It’s important to remember that in any conflict situation, we all have similar goals. We all want to be understood, to be treated with respect, and to satisfy our needs. When you keep this important factor in mind, and when you’re equipped and empowered with other effective conflict management strategies, you’re better able to guide disputants toward resolution.
One of the key tenets of both our Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program and our Facing Conflict With Confidence DVD training program is that resolving conflict early helps prevent situations from spinning out of control. An important aspect of proactively reaching conflict resolution is allowing the disputants to clarify the problem—one person at a time. The following Empathic Listening skills are key to effective conflict management:
- Give each individual your undivided attention. Focus on the speaker and be sure to send the message that you’re ready to listen.
- Be nonjudgmental. Don’t lecture on or trivialize the conflict.
- Focus on feelings, not just facts. Listen carefully to identify the speaker’s real message.
- Allow silence. Before you respond, give the speaker time to reflect.
- Use restatement to clarify messages. Repeat the speaker’s words or reflect your understanding of the speaker’s feelings—then allow the speaker to clarify your interpretation.
Allowing people the opportunity to be heard is a powerful tool that can help you understand each person’s perspective and ensure that everyone’s needs are met. By listening empathically, you will be better able to resolve conflict quickly and confidently.
Conflict Management Training Resources
To help you achieve conflict resolution, we offer a variety of conflict management resources. Equipped with valuable tips and proper training in conflict resolution techniques, you will become skilled at safely and productively negotiating, mediating, and resolving disputes.
- Creating a Safe and Caring Work Environment
Our free eBook is packed with tips for stopping conflict before it can escalate out of control. Download this potent resource and gain skills to stop conflict and foster harmony.
- Facing Conflict With Confidence
Click on the player below to see some practical solutions for negotiating and mediating disputes.
- 10 Tips for Crisis Prevention [PDF]
Learn effective methods for achieving conflict resolution.
- Setting Limits
Read about CPI’s Five-Step Approach to Setting Limits—and help individuals make positive behavior choices.
- Verbal Intervention
Get seven tips for effective verbal intervention, and get the skills to resolve conflict with confidence, competence, and respect.