By Allison Xu
Despite our best intention to avoid it, conflict may still occur somewhere in our life, whether it is a school club, a sports team, or a study group. The reality is conflict is simply a part of life, so we need to face the conflict and know how to deal with it effectively. Here are some tips for you to address these conflicts when they rise:
a. Validate the other person’s feelings and experiences
When you acknowledge the other person’s emotions, you make them feel heard, which lowers their defensiveness and allows for more open dialogue. It also helps prevent the escalation of conflicts.
Examples may be: “I understand this has made you feel frustrated, and I appreciate you sharing your perspective with me.” “It seems like you feel hurt by what happened. How can we work together to find a solution?”
b. Ask the other person clarifying questions
A lot of conflicts arise from miscommunication or misunderstanding. Make sure you understand the other person’s needs by asking clarifying questions. Avoid making assumptions without understanding the full story.
Ask questions like “Could you provide more details about…?” “Can you help me understand…?”
c. Use “I” Statement
The use of “I” statements is a crucial communication skill in conflict management. When articulating feelings. When expressing feelings, using “I” statements (e.g., “I feel…”) instead of “You” statements (e.g., “your reaction makes me feel…”) creates a less threatening tone and makes it easier for the other person to hear what you are saying.
d. Don’t make it personal
Focus on the specific issues at hand rather than the person involved. Avoid commenting on their personality, lifestyle, or other personal aspects. This will help the discussion be more constructive.
e. Talk about possible solutions. Ask for time to think, if needed.
Engage in a constructive conversation by exploring and discussing possible solutions for conflict. If necessary, ask for additional time to think before making the decision, which allows both parties to reflect on the discussion and assess all options. The goal is to reach a well-thought-out resolution acceptable to everyone.
Overall, it is important to remember that dealing with conflict is not a battle; it requires open communication with active listening and engaged discussion on possible resolutions.