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How to resolve conflicts

I grew up in conflicts, be it in the home or during our early days in entrepreneurship, which I think, looking back, allows me to see things in a more objective “large view” perspective, which is good for conflict resolution or goal setting in a broad sense.

Conflicts are usually tricky to handle, not because of the situations themselves, but because of the people involved in the situation. Emotions, psychology, baggage, expectations and assumptions that are componded by miscommunication tends to blow things up, which is why I emphasis strongly on open, direct and honest communication, which is required not just for conflict resolution, but is the foundation of a happy and successful living.

Conflicts can and should be only resolved when two or more parties involved can come to the discussion table to openly discuss and jointly seek resolutions. How it can work is both parties, let’s assume 2 parties involvement, Party A and Party B do the following:

  1. list down what they had experienced that they didn’t like
  2. clarification between parties on exactly what caused the experience
  3. party A to provide alternative solution to (1) above to resolve conflict
  4. party B to exact out item (3) above
  5. reconcile

Assuming Party A felt letdown by Party B on certain items, assuming both parties wish to resolve the conflict, it then becomes the responsibility of Party A to disclose/list down what they experienced, and then both Parties clarify what could/should have been done better and if Party A’s experience is truly justified or if it was an expectation that wasn’t communicated.

Then upon clarifying, Party A then needs to provide an alternative solution that they prefer, and if Party B can provide within their resources (emotional, mental, physical etc), then Party B can provide; however, if Party B cannot or will not, then Party B will then offer an alternative for Party A to consider – if Party A is willing to accept Party B’s alternative, then both Parties will agree to it and Party B will deliver what is promised on a set given time and date.

Then followed by reconciliation, or not, in the case where reconciliation is not preferred or unrequired (note: never a requirement, but a good thing to do).

This is the simplest, watered down way to resolve any conflicts. Of course, when emotions run high/wild, it doesn’t become as simple as this, however, more importantly is to focus on the objective points/data rather than giving in and succumbing to one’s emotions that will likely destroy the conflict resolution process.

Of course, whereby any or both Parties refuses to resolves the conflict, the conflict will be left hanging indefinitely, and depending on the goals and agenda and focus of the individual Parties, they have the decide if allocating precious resources is required.

Lastly, if either Parties refuse to resolve conflicts, it may be best to walk away and to discuss again at another point in time. I do not recommend burning bridges, but if both Parties cannot see eye to eye or decide to settle, then both Parties can/may consider agreeing to walk away for a set period of time. The reason to do this is because resources are precious and shouldn’t be wasted on items/articles/issues that is stalemate, and better spent on items that can better the world/another, rather than wasting on negative issues/complains.

If you’re stuck in a situation, please understand that everyone has opinions, and they’re entitled to them. So are you. Not all opinions should be given the same weightage (e.g. you shouldn’t spend 24 hours thinking about lunch and you shouldn’t spend 1 minute thinking of how you’d make the world a better place) – allocate your precious resources accordingly.

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