Conflict Resolution

Definition of Conflict Resolution

  • Conflict is a very usual occurrence in the workplace and private life. It can arise out of various sources of diversity.
  • It can also take place due to varied issues. However, generally, it arises from values, goals, priorities, needs, or interests that clash.
  • This because there are more ways of looking at something than there are real differences.
  • Conflict resolution can be said to be the technique and approach that help in bringing about a peaceful close to a conflict.
  • Dedicated team members try to fix group conflicts. They actively relay information regarding their conflicting beliefs or motives to others in the team.

Conflict Resolution Strategies


  • This happens when someone changes the course of or dodges a subject. They might act as if the issue does not even exist.
  • There is a distaste for sticking to the rules. This style is employed due to cultural factors, when one is uncomfortable with conflict or when a person has retreated from engaging with other people.
  • In a conflict, avoiders use a “wait and see” approach. They let the conflict work itself out without engaging with it.
  • By refusing to deal with high-conflict scenarios, avoiders risk allowing problems to balloon out of their grasp.


  • In comparison, suppression, “accommodating,” smoothing, or yielding conflict styles exhibit a lot of care for others.
  • However, care towards oneself is low. This method is quite pro-social. It can be seen when a person likes to cater to the needs of others.
  • They would have a desire to have positive, stable social relationships.
  • In the face of a conflict, people with this approach sync in with the demands of others. This happens because they respect the social relationship.


  • The competitive, “fighting,” or forcing conflict style is used by people to make the most of concern for self (i.e., individual assertiveness). It decreases concern for others (i.e., empathy).
  • Competitive participants usually like dominating others. They view any clash situation as a point where one can either win or lose.
  • Such individuals generally compel others to agree with their perspectives.
  • This is done by engaging in competition for power through altercations, barbs, allegations, or sometimes violence. This instills intimidation.


  • Conciliation approach is used by people who have a moderate need for catering to the needs of both the self and others.
  • They give importance to being just. Thus, they set up a bonding of mutual benefit.
  • This is a mixture of the “cooperative” and “yielding” approaches.
  • The conciliation approach is also referred to as compromising approach to conflict resolution


  • This is when a person pro-actively cares for both pro-self and pro-social needs.
  • This can be seen when a person really wants to see their own needs and those of others catered to enthusiastically.
  • In the face of a conflict, such people will work with others to come to a shared mutually beneficial outcome that is wanted by all.
  • This can be done by making the aggressor let his guard down. The aggressor’s ego can then be fed.

Steps to Resolve a Conflict

Step 1: Agreement to Discuss & Lay the basic Framework for Interacting.

  • A resolution cannot be reached without discussion. Thus, this is step 1.
  • If a framework is established, then the parties can try and come to a positive result.

Step 2: Ideas and emotions can be put across turn-by-turn.

  • Once ground rules are set, the parties can start discussing the events.
  • One party can start off putting across their emotions, thoughts, experiences, and point of view. The others can then follow.

Step 3: Find the Conflict

  • Once the turns are complete, the basis of the argument should be declared in the open.
  • Some time can be put into declaring what the problem is. If it is put across with ease, then everyone can be on the same page.

Step 4: Ways of Resolving the conflict can be thought over, turn by turn

  • This is the brainstorming stage. You’re trying to think of ways that might resolve the conflict.
  • You might have ideas, thoughts, or possibilities for resolving the conflict. This might need someone to step back a little from their position. In this step, participants can just say what they wish to see being done.

Step 5: Decide on a Solution

  • At this stage, an agreement is reached. Initially, the most appealing concept is talked about.
  • It might also be helpful to find a shared solution.

Step 6: Mention what the Fix is

  • Post agreement, the solution can be declared. This is similar to mentioning the issue. It helps participants remember what the outcome was.

Step 7: Time for assessing the solution has to be decided

  • Once the meeting is over, another meeting can be decided upon. One can assess how well the previous solution is working.
  • There might be a need for changes. A time for this reassessment meeting can be decided before the discussion ends.

12 Conflict Resolution Skills

  1. Accepting Criticism
  2. Empathy
  3. Non-Bias
  4. Tranquility
  5. Active Listening
  6. Perspective-taking
  7. Accountability
  8. Objectivity
  9. Respect Dissimilarities
  10. Creative Problem Solving
  11. Decisiveness
  12. Let It Go
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Article by:

Runal Mehta

Runal brings in more than a decade’s worth of experience in the field of consulting and education. He loves writing research oriented articles at Digiaide.