11 Important Conflict Resolution Skills You Can Use in Your Daily Life

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Conflict resolution skills are not just needed in your professional environment, they are very much required in your personal settings too. Let’s dive into understanding what are these skills and how can you use them in your daily life. 

Imagine these scenarios: 

  • You walk into the office one day, and there is an awkward silence. Upon probing, you learn that your 2 colleagues are sulking because of a conflict they had. 
  • You come back home after a long and you see your parents are not talking to each other because they have argued. 

Whether it’s your office or your home, everyone was waiting for you to utilize your conflict resolution skills to bring things back to normal.

Let’s see how you can do that. 

 

11 Important Conflict Resolution Skills You Can Use in Your Daily Life

Humans are social animals. Naturally, we all think differently about different topics.

There will be instances when we have opposite views about things, even with our closest people. 

It will give rise to disagreements and conflicts. This is exactly where conflict resolution skills come in. This is why they are important. 

 

What is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict is when two or more people disagree on a topic, which gives rise to friction or discord among them. 

This conflict can be about a situation or the behavior of the other party. Often, the other party feels a threat to their needs, concerns, or threats. 

It could also arise when one party feels the other party isn’t accepting of their view and opinions. 

Conflict resolution is a productive method of working towards a solution to resolve a dispute so that all parties involved are satisfied.

Conflict resolution skills help you to resolve these conflicts constructively and without straining the relationship.




What are the Causes of Conflict?

According to a recent report, employees dealing with conflicts are 12% less productive.  There are various reasons for conflict between people. Let’s address them one by one here. 

 

5 Causes of Conflict at the Workplace

Every employee who joins an organization has certain needs and expectations of his/her workplace. Conflicts begin when the needs and expectations are not met or when the employee feels ignored.

1. Personality Clash

This is the most common cause of conflict in the workplace. 

When a new member joins the team, the team dynamics change. This is often due to personality clashes between team members. 

When a new team member joins the team, a team member feels threatened because of the new member, which leads to a clash.

A personality clash can happen within a team, depending on how team members respond to challenging situations. 

Here is an example to help you understand this scenario better. 

Let’s say there is a client issue. One team member feels the customer always comes back with an irrational issue and is fine with losing the customer. 

On the other hand, the other team member accepts the fact that the customer always comes back with irrational demands. However, he feels it’s a high-ticket client who should not be let go.

Such a difference of opinion can easily lead to conflict between the team members at the workplace. 

 

2. Needs of Employees Not Met

While employers have set expectations for employees, employees also have expectations from the organization they work for. 

When the employer has unrealistic expectations from the employees, it leads to a conflict.

For example, when the employee is expected to work even on weekends, holidays, etc., it will hamper his/her family life. While it may be acceptable when there is a pressing issue, it will give rise to conflicts if it becomes a regular scenario. 

 

3. Communication Gap

Effective Communication plays a critical role in the smooth functioning of an organization. It is often seen when information passed onto the team members is inadequate or unclear; it causes misunderstanding or misinterpretations.

Communication gaps can also happen from inappropriate communication styles, lack of appropriate communication channels, and language barriers.

conflict resolution skills

4. Competition for Resources

When resources like equipment, budget, or personnel are limited, it gives rise to competition and, in turn, conflicts. 

There is also a possibility that a team feels the other team gets preferential treatment or that there is an unfair distribution of resources, which can lead to conflicts. 

 

5. Resistance to Change

We always find it difficult to get out of our comfort zone and prefer to stick to familiarity. It is a well-known fact that we fear the unknown. 

Change is stressful, and not everyone is ready to embrace it. This often leads to conflict between team members and/or team members and management.

 

4 Causes of Conflict in The Family

It is a well-known fact that at every stage, a family goes through a conflict. Each of the stages brings with itself different kinds of stress leading to conflicts.

Familial conflict can also arise due to differences in opinions, beliefs, values, or lifestyles. 

Conflicts can happen between couples, parents and children, siblings, or extended family members. 

 

1. Finances

Finances are a source of anxiety and stress for several families. Disagreement over financial matters often escalates and causes discord between family members. 

Issues such as money management, debt, loans, and inheritance are some of the most common causes of financial discord. 

 

2. Personal Differences

Different lifestyles, interests, religious beliefs, political views, dietary habits, etc., are some of the most common causes of conflicts among family members. 

Conflicts can also result from clashes in personalities, especially when family members communicate differently.  

 

3. Life Changes

As life goes on, changes are bound to occur in the family. These changes may or may not be acceptable to other family members, which can cause conflicts. 

Some of the common reasons include:

  • Moving to a new place
  • A new career or job that doesn’t align with the family
  • Dealing with grief
  • Health issues

 

4.  Inheritance

Over centuries, inheritance has been a very sensitive topic. Unequal distribution of assets is one of the most common causes of conflict between family members.





3 Causes of Conflict Between Friends

Every individual is different and has different quirks. Every relationship comes with the baggage of life, and friendships are no exception. 

Here are 3 reasons why there could be conflicts between friends. 

1. Different Core Values

We can become friends with people from all walks of life. However, our core values may be opposites.

 

2. Jealousy and Envy

Friends being jealous or envious of the more successful friend isn’t uncommon. This can easily lead to resentment, bitterness, and conflict.

 

3. Power Struggles

A dominating friend may always try to exert dominance over the other friend. In decision-making, the dominating friend may completely overshadow the other friend, causing rifts and conflict.




These are all the different reasons that can give rise to conflicts at your work, within your family, and even with your friends. 

Now, let’s dive into learning about the conflict resolution skills that will help you to have a solution-oriented approach during such times in your life. 

 

11 Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Daily Life

Conflicts can trigger strong emotions which can lead to hurt feelings, discomfort, and disappointment. 

When you handle your conflicts using the right conflict resolution skills, you build trust, and understanding and strengthen the relationship.

A mediator with proper conflict resolution skills can help mitigate conflicts and work on moving the warring parties toward an amicable resolution.

 

1. Assertive Communication

Assertively communicating your feelings without being aggressive is one of the top conflict resolution skills. 

An important part of assertive communication is articulating your feelings without telling the other person what he/she is doing wrong.

 

2. Emotional Awareness

We often lose touch with our real emotions. Understanding your emotions can go a long way toward resolving conflicts. The more you are in sync with your feelings, the better your ability to handle conflict. 

Being emotionally intelligent empowers you to perceive and understand others’ emotions better. This is an important conflict resolution skill because it makes it easier to communicate with both parties in conflict without provoking either one of them. 

Keeping anger and frustration in check also helps people involved to think critically and come to a viable solution.

 

3. Listening Skills

How often does it happen to you that someone is talking and you are busy doing something else? 

Most people are inattentive listeners. There are two reasons for this. 

One is that they are not open to listening to what someone wants to tell us.

The second is that even though they are physically present there, mentally, they are either preoccupied or busy doing something else.

To become good at listening, it is important to ask relevant questions about the issue and determine where the speaker intends to lead you. 

While responding, try to use the words that were spoken to you. This shows that you were alert while being spoken to, but if there is any confusion, it can be cleared immediately.

 

4. Keep Old Issues and Current Issues Separate

My mom always says that when there is a conflict, the current issue is often trivial. It is the old grievances, the feelings of holding grudges that cause the issue to blow up.

As a mediator, you should stay away from commenting on any of the parties or their personal characteristics. 

Stay focused on the current issue and devote your energies to finding a solution to the problem. 

Having said that, old grievances must also be tackled; however, the focus should be on important and urgent issues. 

 

5. Avoid Blame Game

The most underrated conflict resolution skill is avoiding the blame game. Pointing fingers escalates the issue and makes matters go from bad to worse. 

If you are an arbitrator, you are responsible for creating a safe environment for both parties involved. 

Don’t start off with a volley of accusations at the other person. It is equally important to let both parties put their thoughts and feelings across. 




6. Avoid Being Defensive

Human nature makes you defensive the moment you are confronted with a difficult situation. You begin to defend your actions or words. In this process, the conflicts can become worse.

By being defensive, you miss the opportunity to listen to the other person in the right spirit. You also forgo a chance to learn something and improve yourself. 

The best approach would be to listen to the other person with ‘listening’ ears and understand the other person’s viewpoint. 

You may agree partially or disagree completely and articulate your feelings factually without getting emotional and blaming the other person.  

 

7. Stay Calm

When you are in a conflict or resolving a conflict, you must watch your tone and body language. It is important for you to stay calm and not let anger or frustration get the better of you.

I would like to share one that has always worked for me in a conflict. After the initial argument, I take my time to gather my thoughts, try to think rationally, and then move to the next conversation.

I am sure, you have experienced that in the heat of the moment, you tend to say things which you don’t really mean. Those words do the most harm. So train your mind to stay calm in a conflict.

 

8. Compromise

It is very natural for both the conflicting sides to feel they are right. This is however far from truth. There is an Egyptian saying, “You can’t clap with one hand.” It holds true in a conflict.

In a conflict, both parties have to come together and work towards reaching a working solution. 

Both parties should hear each other out intently and compromise to reach a solution. 

 

9. Raise the Issue Of Identification

To prevent the issue from escalating, it is in everyone’s best interest to raise the issue as soon as it is identified. The more water passes under the bridge, the more resentment it builds.

If you are not able to raise the issue with the concerned person, then speak to a third party who is in a position to be a mediator and sort the issue. 

 

10. Constructive Feedback

It takes two to tango. In a conflict, no one person is alone responsible. Therefore, one must accept what the other person is saying as constructive feedback. It shouldn’t be treated as criticism. 

This feedback will help you to identify your areas of improvement and help you grow as an individual and mold your personality for the better.

 

11. Positive Attitude

In no conflict, is it easy to reach a solution. Going into conflict resolution with a positive mindset helps to move ahead from the deadlock situation. 

While resolving a conflict, there are going to be a number of roadblocks, which should be treated as a speed breaker and not as a full stop. 

When you go into conflict resolution with a positive attitude, the other party will feel more welcome and will be put to ease. It will help to reach a solution faster. 




Conclusion

To conclude, I hope these conflict resolution skills have given you the do’s and don’ts of becoming a solution-oriented person. 

The truth is no one person is responsible for resolving any conflicting issues. It is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in the situation to find a solution as soon as possible. 

Conflict resolution should be the priority rather than trying to win in the conflict. For an amicable resolution, you should be respectful of the thoughts brought by the other party to the table. 

One of the most important conflict resolution skills is being willing to forgive. Once you forgive the other person, you will be able to conserve your energy and mind for more fruitful activity. 

Here’s a guide on forgiving others to help you do that. 

Having said that not all conflict resolutions bring positive results. In such a case, it is best to take a step back agree to disagree, and move on.