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Conflict resolutions at work and life

Published: 21st October 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2013 09:37 AM   |  A+A-

Most of us view conflict as a war or  contest of power. This seems to be the root cause of all problems arising between people, religions, communities and nations. What if you viewed conflict as nothing more than a simple disagreement? If you do so, then you would regard conflict as an opportunity. You might even begin to look forward to conflicts because disagreements are the very foundation for creative solutions to our problems. If there are no disagreements, there is no potential for new perspectives, ideas and learning.

Simple disagreements spiral into huge conflicts. From time immemorial what started as a disagreement between two individuals spun off into a conflict between communities, cultures, cities, states and eventually nations, resulting in a colossal loss of human lives.

The root cause of a conflict is when we think our opinion or solution is the best. However, this attitude is due to sheer ignorance and is the seed for all conflicts. Every individual is entitled to his or her opinion. All of us grow in different circumstances so there are bound to be differences in our thinking and approaches.

Steer clear of conflicts

We have to first stop believing that other people’s views and approaches are wrong. When you move away from the stubborn attitude that your opinion is only correct, we achieve the first level of conflict resolution. When you open up, start listening, recapping and paraphrasing others’ feelings and opinions, you are on the route to conflict resolution.

You are not the only one who’s right

We have to make people realise that while what we say may be right what the other person is saying is also not wrong. When you are able to express this willingness, you will notice that people are willing to listen to you. The willingness to listen and the need to be heard properly has to be communicated to each other.

Listening and paraphrasing have been identified as important techniques in resolving conflicts. Larry Barkan, a renowned conflict resolution therapist and author of the book Everyone wins recommends, “Paraphrase, to the satisfaction of the other person(s) what he/she has said BEFORE giving your opinion. Keep asking, “Is there anything else you want to say?” and keep paraphrasing until THEY’RE sure you really have understood THEM. Work to understand others before trying to have them understand you.”

— kalpana@acl-india.in



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