In the world we are in, conflict is everywhere. People do not want an agreement without a fight. Well, this is because we all have points and reasons for what we are fighting for. Conflicts and arguments are already part of our lives. When managed well, it helps in avoiding bigger problems. How can we do that? We will talk about that later on.
Resolving conflicts is important in homes, schools and the workplace. It helps in making bonds with others stronger and healthier. It promotes a good feeling to the people involved and to others around them. Resolving conflicts can also aid teams to achieve what they really want to achieve. Some teams fail to do so because the members are not united as they should be.
Doing these things is not as easy as our natural activities which we can do through our existing skills. Conflict resolution skills need a lot of effort and patience to grow. But then, this is not impossible. In fact, some people might not know that they are already doing these skills. Before that, let us first check out the ways in resolving conflicts.
Ways to Resolve Conflicts
There is a study that shows the five ways to resolve conflicts. The authors are named Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann. Their study was based on the belief that people can choose how to react to certain conflicts or problems. These ways can be used by families, business owners and even by couples. It just depends on the situation at hand.
Pay no attention to the conflict
There are many people who feel uneasy when they talk to the people they have a conflict with. As a result, they try to avoid the conflict and pretend that it did not happen. This is good for the people who decided. But actually this does not solve the problem.
Strive to win
This way is applied by the people who use conflict as a technique to win. There are people who do not accept defeat. Through this method, other opinions and thoughts are not allowed. This way is good if a person is doing some sports. This will not work for group problems because the aim of teams is for everyone to win and achieve a single goal.
Give way to others
This is about allowing other people to win and get what they want. Giving way to others is good especially if you know you did something wrong in the first place. The negative side of this method happens when you give way just to end the conflict. This will result in unresolved conflicts that get bigger over time. The person who does this usually ends up just saying yes to every decision even though he does not like it.
Team up with others
This is actually the best way to resolve conflicts because both parties get the chance to cooperate. The key is to have a common goal and ways to achieve it. One way to do this is to communicate well and reach out to others.
Of course, people have different opinions and belief. In this method, both parties have to forget some of their beliefs to get an agreement with others. The important thing here is to work things out even there are differences. Both parties should accept the outcome.
What is Conflict Resolution Skills?
In order to do the ways of resolving conflicts, there are skills needed. In fact, having these skills help in choosing the best way to resolve a conflict in a particular situation. You can teach these skills to children, teenagers, or even adults.
Conflict Resolution Skills Example 1: Communication
People have to know first the source of conflict in order to solve it. Through this skill, everyone will know every side of the story, which will make the situation better. Telling how a person really thinks and feels helps in correcting wrong ideas. Aside from speaking, it is also important to listen to others. In this way, resolving conflict will be a lot easier. There is no shouting or cursing involved when people listen well. There is also room for questions and clarifications.
Conflict Resolution Skills Example 2: Problem-Solving
This skill focuses on solving a conflict by checking out different options. This skill allows everyone to think in an objective way. Resolving conflicts become hard when a person thinks only for his own welfare. Because of this, conflicts become bigger. This skill aids in making people realize how to open their minds to different perspectives.
Conflict Resolution Skills Example 3: Managing Stress
It is stressful for people when looking for ways to solve conflicts. There are conflicts that are heavy and hard to solve. The difference with people is how they can handle this stress. Stress management gives people the option to forget about emotions once and for all and to focus on the problem itself.
Conflict Resolution Skills Example 4: Teamwork
More than just being in a team, teamwork is working together to achieve a common goal. It also includes understanding the attitude of members of a team. Having this skill helps in preventing conflicts from happening. When you think that you are a member of a team, you will not just think of your own feeling. Your understanding will be wider.
Conflict Resolution Skills Example 5: Sensitivity
This skill is all about considering the feelings and emotions of other people. Through this, you will be careful with the words you will say and the actions you will do. There are tough times in people’s lives. We do not know what a person is going through so it is important to be sensitive all the time.
What is Conflict Resolution Skills for Kids?
Everyone, even kids, children or teenagers, can apply the conflict resolutions skills listed above. But then, there are other skills for kids depending on the situation they are in. It is helpful to teach children these skills to have better connections with other people and their family. Here are the conflict resolution skills that might help children.
Conflict Resolution Skill for Kids 1: Acceptance
The first skill needed for kids is to learn is how to accept that conflict is existing. People can get mad. They disagree with some things. It is given that some children do not take things seriously, so they usually just do not think about conflicts. But once this skill is taught, they will learn to recognize the situation and other people’s feelings.
Conflict Resolution Skill for Kids 2: Emotion Awareness
Kids need to know that it is okay to say no or to not feel okay. It is not a problem to open up or say their opinions to others. Before doing this, kids should learn to embrace their feelings no matter how negative it is. Teenagers also need to know that they cannot drive problems away and keep all their feelings inside. In addition, this skill means they are able to control their feelings in such a way that will help everyone solve an issue.
Conflict Resolution Skill for Kids 3: Self-Calming
Teenagers are sensitive to what other people make them feel. Sometimes, they deal with people who did them wrong by starting a fight. This is wrong because the priority should be the problem and not the people. Learning how to be calm and relaxed despite having a bad situation is a skill that will change many lives.
Conflict Resolution Skill for Kids 4: Respect
Respect is something that is good when already taught at a very young age. Youngsters should learn that people have different opinions and stand in life. If they know this, they will understand that their thoughts are not the only things that matter in this world. They should also learn that they have to listen to their parents or teachers because they have knowledge than them.
Conflict Resolution Skill for Kids 5: Confidence
Children may still focus on what they believe in if this will help the situation better. When pointing out their opinion, it is best to have a confident presence. In this way, they can make other people believe in them even though they are still young. The ability to show confidence does not depend on age. It just takes the help of parents and support groups to build this.
How to Improve Conflict Resolution Skills
It would be better to help children in resolving conflicts. Aside from other skills, conflict resolution skills are important for your child to successfully grow and survive in this world. There will come a time that your teenager will face difficulties outside of the four corners of your home. What’s important is he knows how to handle them. Here are some tips on how you can develop and improve conflict resolutions skills in your children.
The first thing to do is to help your child realize that he is experiencing conflict. His emotion is the most important thing for him that is why it is hard for him to realize that he did something wrong. Guide him so you can both know the things he did correctly and wrong. From there, you can discover the root cause of the conflict. If it is with his friend, you can also talk to his friend so you can get insights.
Think like how your child thinks
Problems are not easy to solve even to adults, right? Hence, you have to consider if your child could understand your point. As much as possible, use simple words. Sit with him to build the feeling that you support him rather than standing tall which shows authority. Make your child realize that you are supporting him and it is okay to open up.
Allow him to speak.
Let him say what he wants to say about his feelings because of the conflict. You have to know where he is coming from. Through this, you will discover if you need to correct your child or not. Remember to not interrupt when your child is talking. This will stop him from telling his story. After this, you can repeat what he said as a sign that you understood him.
Talk to both sides.
If the situation allows you to, talk to both sides involved in the conflict. This also shows that you are not tolerating your child if he did something wrong. But make sure that both children will feel at ease and ready to open. It will make a change if children will both have the chance to tell their stories and their feelings about what happened. This will also help your child to see the big picture. He will realize that he also has an impact on other people.
Ask for ideas on how to solve the conflict.
In this way, both children will feel that they are considered and valued. Do not impose anything. Allow them to think of ways to end the problem. Aside from improving their thinking skills, children will help each other in solving a problem.
Share you own thoughts.
Tell the children the effects of the solution they came up with. You can also share what you did when the same thing happened to you. Tell them what you did and how it helped you solve the issue. In this way, you can all come up with a solid way to finally have an agreement.
After reaching a certain solution, let children act on it. Be there to guide them, especially your children, along the way. A conflict is truly resolved once the action is done.
Reward your child.
Give something to your child, such as token or gift, and praise him for his efforts. It is hard to admit a mistake, talk to the person he has a conflict with and fix the issue. Let your child know that you will not tolerate him because you love him and that is the best for him.
Conflict resolution skills are difficult to build but are also worth it. The world will be a better place if we will just take the first step in understanding others. Even though we are going through something, we should always remember that others are too. Children are part of the next generations who will bring hope to this world. Hence, teaching them these skills will truly make a difference.