Conflict Resolution Through Negotiation
Conflict resolution is a skill that everyone needs. Some people shy away from conflict or let others push them around, often because they don't have a lot of experience in managing it. If that is the case then we have some good news for you.
We can certainly help with this! Here are some things that you can do to help reduce aggression and resolve those conflicts like a pro.
1. State Your Case with as much Tact and as Little EMOTION as Possible
Speak tactfully. Make sure that you are presenting your point as concisely as possible. When negotiating, it is important not to put too many emotions into your speech (unless of course, it is a bullying tactic, but we won't go into that in this article). It is rather recommended that you state the terms you are looking for, clearly and with as little emotion as possible so that those emotions do not add to the aggression level of the conflict.
2. Learn to Listen; Many People Just Want to be Heard
Let the other person speak. They will eventually get to the point and you will have a chance to speak as well. At this point, repeat what they have just said in your own words to show them that you have understood. In many cases, this can de-escalate a conflict almost immediately. This allows you to move on to resolving it and often just letting the other person have their say does exactly that. Learn to listen, it is an essential tool in your negotiation skills.
3. Less Blame, More Resolution Focus
Blame doesn't help things. It just raises aggression levels and can make matters worse. The resolution to the conflict is the goal; so focus on that and keep blame as far away as possible. Pointing fingers doesn't solve the problem, so don't waste time on it. Focus on what each party involved in the conflict can do to help resolve it.
4. Sometimes You have to Give a Little to Get a Little
So, you noticed that 'each' in point number 3? If everyone contributes to the solution when cooperation is possible, then the resolution to the issue will come faster. This is not always possible in a heated conflict but you can accelerate the likelihood of its occurrence by taking the first steps. If there are things you can do to help that come to mind right away, then offer to do them. Often the others involved will follow your example and soon everyone can be happier.
5. Preface Questions with Your Intentions before Asking
In the heat of conflict, questions can seem sarcastic, especially if step 1 is ignored and requests are delivered emotionally. You can help to defuse this a little by stating your intentions for asking a question so that the person asked knows that it is not a personal attack or a means of 'trapping' them so that they will admit blame. For example, 'I'm thinking that I can do ______ to help, so can you tell me if ______ occurred when the issue started so that I know if this is a feasible approach for our issue?'. This can make a world of difference in reducing aggression levels in conflicts so that a resolution can be obtained and can be used in the workplace or personal conflict scenarios.
Conflict resolution through negotiation doesn't have to be as difficult as you are imagining. Just follow our steps. Keep your calm and remove the emotion. Listen to each other. Don't blame and be willing to give a little. Remember to make your intentions clear and soon you can stop arguing and start solving the problem. Good luck, Negotiator.