Conflict Resolution Training – When Personal Safety is an Issue (Ezine Article)

By Maria Boomhower

Conflict generally arises by having your needs, desires, perceptions and values challenged.

When a person feels that their values are being challenged they generally respond the strongest. Inwardly they feel their personal safety threatened and desire to stop that threat.

Surprisingly for most people, is that one of the reasons many attempts at conflict resolution fail is the desire to keep emotion out of the equation. People will look at content and make a decision on how to proceed with the conflict but want to disregard emotions. However, how we feel about our values and the emotional aspects of the conflict is of a very high importance.

When they are not dealt with, they can become a trigger during the process, depending on any history with the people involved or other unrelated incidences. Feelings and needs are a fundamental process and requirement of all people, men as well as women. We can see the reason when we look at the three parts of the resolution.

  • Content: Is the issue to be resolved.
  • Process: How we talk to and treat each other. Allowing people to feel heard and acknowledged.
  • Emotion: How we feel about what happened. If we are angry, we shut down our thinking process and the conflicts rarely get resolved.

Many things trigger emotions; the history between the people or organization, the issue or other similar events.

People respond to conflict in many ways, some look for solutions and others just work on keeping it going. One of the most important aspects is not to jump into solution right away. Many times importance elements or ideas can be over looked. A secondary, yet highly important issue that that when we don’t give people a chance to come up with their own solutions we disempower them.

It is essential when you want a strong working team or family bond to give the belief of trust in the other person to come up with his or her own solutions whenever possible. In business, there are situations where time is of the essence, and you need to act, however, done too often will lead to a breakdown in trust and performance by workers and partners.

Your beliefs about how to deal with them also affects the process. For example do you believe:

  • My way is the only way.
  • I can’t admit being wrong.
  • Talking shows weakness.
  • It’s normal.

These will get in the way of constructive, solutions and waste time and money. Or if you respond by:

  • Pretending nothing is wrong
  • Verbally attack
  • Give in
  • Go over their heads
  • Silent treatment
  • Complain or Blame
  • Make jokes

These can lead to stress, destroyed relationships, and production breakdown.

There are different styles of conflict resolution to choose from depending on the situation.

1) Accommodation: To build the relationship When the issue is more important to the other person and relatively unimportant to you. Challenges with; If you feel taken advantage of, you may become resentful. You may not get your needs met.

2) Avoidance: If there is a chance of danger. When you feel that another person is much more qualified for it. Challenges with; The conflict may grow until it boils over. Relationships will remain superficial.

3) Collaboration: With important issues where both sides have merit. To strengthen relationships. Challenges with; There is a risk of wasted time and energy on issues that are considered unimportant.

4) Compromise: When two or more goals prevent collaboration. When time is an issue and you need to reach an agreement right away. Challenges with; You may focus on what you compromised. Problems may recur if you did not fully explore the issues to reach a resolution.

5) Competition: When quick, decisive action is require. When your core values are at risk. Challenges with; May weaken relationships. Other may not agree to your plan of action and may try to sabotage

Each has its pros and cons and a time for using them. Most often, we must look at the situation and decide which would be most effective.

If you find yourself using accommodation all the time, you may be trying to show yourself as nice person and are at risk of becoming used. If on the other end, you are using competition most of the time, you may be seen as controlling and uncaring about the people you work with. This will destroy trust and production.

In all aspects, it is important not to generalize. Stating observable facts in a neutral tone with open the doors to resolution. People who feel attacked will close down and fight and solutions.

Instead of: You’re late again. Why are you so inconsiderate!

Try: We all arrived at 8 am and have been waiting for you. The last three times you have arrived at 8:30am. We need to start on time in order to meet our deadline.

There are many aspects to conflict resolution and some things seem like they are harder to deal with. However, in the end, when trust and respect are a part of your atmosphere, you will find greater success and achievements in all of your endeavors.

All the Best!

Article Information

Maria Boomhower, The Master Communicator

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P.S. If you like what you’re reading in this newsletter, you’ll love the book,
“Perceptions, How to discover what you are really seeing and how it affects your belief system.” It’s an interactive manual that takes you through the steps to help you overcome challenges in communicating and connecting with others.

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