FREE RESOURCE: 12 steps to Manage Conflict Resolution

Important steps to managing conflict

Step 1 - Face to Face

If you are in conflict with someone and assuming there is no threat of physically getting hurt, dealing with the person face to face is better than letters and messages, banging on walls, throwing things, or talking to everyone but that person.

Step 2 - Timing

Plan to talk to the other person at the right time and make enough time to do it. Don’t start when the other person is on their way to work, when you’ve had a terrible day and don't try to squeeze it in quickly somewhere in your day. It only adds to the frustration. Find a place and the appropriate amount of time, where you can both sit comfortably and quietly for a while.

Step 3 - Plan

Think beforehand what you want to say. It’s important to state clearly what the problem is and how you feel about it. It's important to also get the other persons viewpoint and to keep an open mind. (see Step 6)

Step 4 - Don't play the blame game

Don’t blame the other person for everything or begin with your opinion of what should be done. Avoid the unnecessary “You’re a ……” This only makes it harder for the person to take in what you’re saying.

Step 5 - Don't Assume, deal only with the facts!

Don’t interpret their behaviour. (Don’t say “You’re blocking my driveway on purpose just to make me angry.” Instead, say “When your car blocks my driveway I get angry because it is difficult to get in or out”).

Step 6 - Listen to their side

.Give the other person a chance to give their side of the story and what they think has been happening to cause the trouble. Be prepared to relax, listen and take in everything.

Step 7 - Acknowledge

Let them know you hear what they are saying. You may not agree with them but there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to talk to someone who doesn’t even appear to be listening. Tell them you hear what they’re saying (there’s nothing better for moving things towards an agreement). Tell them you’re glad you’re talking about the problem.

Step 8 - Work together to resolve the problem

When you’ve reached this point try working on the dispute co-operatively. Work out what you both have to do to resolve the problem. Two or more people working on a problem together can get further than one person telling the other they have to change.

Step 9 - Get it right "Get it all out in the open"

If you take the time to work on a problem, take the time to get it right. Get the whole problem out in the open. Don’t leave the problem out in the open. Don’t leave out the part that seems “less important” or is the hardest to talk about. Those are the things that will ruin the solution you come up with.

Step 10 - Checking in with each other

Agree to check with each other at a specific time in the future to see how things are going and don’t forget to do it. Don't let things slide backwards.

Step 11 -

f you find it is too difficult to talk to the other person on your own or find that each time you try, you end up shouting or getting upset, bring a qualified person in to arrange a meditation session. At a meditation session both sides have a chance to talk about the problem with the help of our trained, impartial meditators.

Step 12 - Remember

People aren’t perfect and won’t always say the ‘right’ thing. Experience tells us that if people respect themselves, their neighbours, their work colleagues and their community enough to work on resolving their differences and disputes, everyone wins. It is a strength to ask for help from a mediator, not a weakness!