Six Steps to Effectively Resolve Conflict

If a confrontation is handled correctly, it can actually strengthen any relationship.

Follow these six guidelines in order to prevent an abrupt and unhappy end to a working relationship:

  1. Bring in the principal persons involved in the conflict. All persons involved need to come together for the whole story to be pieced accurately together.
  2. Line up the facts. Relying on hearsay evidence or “general impressions” will only invite emotion-laden rebuttals and, possibly, resentful counter-attacks.
  3. Never reprimand while angry. Make sure that you are in control of your emotions. Delay confrontation until you have coolly asked yourself two questions. “Could I have contributed to the problem? Were there mitigating circumstances I am overlooking?”
  4. Be precise about the offence. Let the person know exactly what the charge is.
  5. Investigate. Get the other person’s side of the story. Be sure that you keep comprehensive records.
  6. Don’t harbour a grudge. Encourage all parties to forgive and forget in order to move-on.

If a relationship cannot face an honest face-to-face encounter, then it is probably not a healthy relationship. In some cases, ending the relationship is the only solution, but this should be the last choice.


People principles:

  • Show me a person who sees himself negatively and I will show you a person who sees others in a negative way.
  • Most of the time our relational problems stem from the fact that we ourselves have problems or issues that haven’t been resolved. It is not possible to treat another person’s hurt until we have first discovered the cure and accepted the treatment ourselves.
  • When you realise that people treat you according to how they see themselves rather than how you really are, you are less likely to take their behaviour toward you personally.
  • The key to successful relationships really gets down to responsibility: I am not responsible for how they treat me; however, I am responsible for my reaction to those who are difficult. I can’t choose how you will treat me but I can choose how I will respond to you.

In fact, dealing with criticism in the right manner is key to any relationship. We have put together a list of practical tips to help you take and give criticism in the right spirit.

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