#Askingforafriend: 8 steps for handling conflict

By Kristin Wyse
GCU Office of Student Care
#Askingforafriend

Conflict is usually seen as a negative thing in our relationships, so much so that some try to avoid it while others try to meet it head on when emotions are intense.

I want to provide an alternate perspective to conflict and provide some tips in how to reach resolutions within our relationships.

One thing to know is that conflict is normal in relationships. Through the process of resolving conflict in a healthy way, we actually can strengthen and deepen our emotional connections with others.

Just remember the first two steps of communication – first, connecting with self and, second, connecting with others – BEFORE we start to try to resolve conflict. Knowing what we feel, think and need and understanding what others feel, think and need will help us to find the most effective resolution.

So how do we work to resolve our conflicts? Here are eight steps to help us work through conflict together:

  • 1. Schedule: Determine a good time to meet when you will have time to talk and be in calmer moods.
  • 2. Goal: Identify a mutual goal that you both would like to meet in resolving the conflict (i.e., find times to connect with each other, find boundaries that we are both agreeable to in the relationship, etc.)
  • 3. Brainstorm: Create a list of ideas to resolve the conflict. All ideas are acceptable and can be either logical or ludicrous – we want to think outside the box. Just wait until the next step to give any opinions about the ideas.
  • 4. Pros/cons: Write down any pros and cons for each idea that you identified. Every perspective, whether positive or negative, should be honored and valued. We are gaining insight from looking at possible solutions from every angle and valuing each person’s voice in the process.
  • 5. Decide: Pick one idea or a combination of ideas that you agree to TRY. Remember, we don’t know if this idea will be effective. You simply are agreeing to try a solution together and deciding who will do which part.
  • 6. Review: Schedule a good time to meet again to discuss whether the solution you tried was effective. We want to hear all perspectives in order to arrive at the best solution for the situation and people involved.
  • 7. Adjust: Make any adjustments needed. There might a better solution to try the next round, or this one solution may have worked perfectly for everyone and the conflict has been resolved. If you want to make any adjustments, go back to steps 3, 4 or 5, as needed, to home in on your ideal resolution.
  • 8. Success: Celebrate the efforts and success along the way. And have fun! You are working together as a team to determine the best resolution for everyone. And as a result, you will strengthen the trust and value of the relationship as you work together.

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Bible Verse

Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries." (Daniel 2:27-28)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/