Conflicting views give you a chance to learn more about yourself, explore views of others, and develop productive relationships. Clear and open communication is the cornerstone of successful conflict resolution.
In particular, you and the conflicting parties need to follow these six steps:
- Make sure that good relationships are a priority. Treat the other person with respect. Do your best to be courteous, and to discuss matters constructively.
- Separate people from problems. Recognize that, in many cases, the other person is not “being difficult” – real and valid differences can lie behind conflicting positions. By separating the problem from the person, you can discuss issues without damaging relationships.
- Listen carefully to different interests. You’ll get a better grasp of why people have adopted their position if you try to understand their point of view.
- Listen first, talk second. You should listen to what the other person is saying before defending your own position. They might say something that changes your mind.
- Set out the “facts.” Decide on the observable facts that might impact your decision, together.
- Explore options together. Be open to the idea that a third position may exist, and that you might reach it jointly.