Even if you are not an LEO or active military, you probably face conflict in your life. The stakes may be a little lower, but that doesn't mean that we can't all benefit from conflict resolution tips, whether we are military or special service or just civilians. Conflicts can arise whether you are at work or at school or even in your relationship with your significant other or spouse. The important part is learning how to resolve these conflicts in a healthy and safe manner.
Tips for managing conflict include:
- Acceptance. Conflict exists, it's not pretty, but it's a fact of life. You are not going to agree with every person you meet, and you certainly are going to have some conflicts with people at some point in your life. So it's best to accept that it will exist in all of your dynamics, from your family and friendships to your coworkers to complete strangers.
- Listen. Many conflicts can be managed by actively listening. This doesn't mean waiting to speak until they are done, this means really hearing them, and empathizing with their side of things. Working through the different problems, and really understanding how they feel.
- Analyze the conflict. Look at what caused it. Are you angry at someone, are you upset with something personal and taking it out on others, are you not getting what you want, are you afraid of something, and finally, look at how it can be solved.
- Use neutral language. Don't call names, don't raise your voice, don't use profanity or exaggerate the situation. Simply remain calm, and speak in such a manner.
- Don't look at the person negatively, look at the problem negatively. Being able to separate the problem from the person is important. Someone doing something incorrect or harmful doesn't mean they are a bad person, it means their behavior is inappropriate at this time. That doesn't mean the person is inherently bad.
- Take ownership of the problem. Don't point fingers, or blame others' actions or behaviors for something you did. Take ownership and work with the other person to find a solution.
- Focus on the future. Don't focus on the past negative issues you've had, even though it is easy to do so. Instead, focus on the future, and think about where you want your relationship to go. Looking at it this way will help you to control your words better, knowing you don't want to lose this relationship.
- Share the why. If you share the reason behind certain positions, opinions, or behaviors, you can more easily understand where the other person is coming from.
- Work together to find a solution. You don't have to resolve this conflict all on your own, work together with the person, and you may find a solution that works for both parties.
These conflict resolution tips may take some practice to implement, but they can certainly help take the pressure and anger out of a conflict that may arise.