5 Steps To Resolving Conflict

Courtesy of daniellelorenz/Creative Commons License

Is there someone who is no longer a part of your life and you don’t know why?  I’ve got a few; however, the one that sticks out to me the most is one of my roommates from college.  We were tight our first three years of college and then something happened.  Once in a while we’ll catch up with one another; however, the relationship is not what it was, it’s hard.  I can’t pin point where it went wrong; but, from what I gathered it was a bunch of little things that built up over time.  A chasm formed in the relationship and then it was over.

Whether you are aware of it or not there are incidences (large and small) occurring in your professional and personal relationships that if not addressed will one day create a problem.  Maybe it’s with a coworker, a parent, a teen, your pastor or maybe it’s at home with your spouse.  Again, if these incidences aren’t approached properly the gap in your relationship will grow and send you down the wrong path.  To avoid these gaps you need to take the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Seek Counsel: Run your emotions and thoughts by people you trust to point you in the right direction. Allow others to give you insight and hold you accountable.
  • Step 2 – Give Yourself A Moment: Before we step in we need to take a step back.  Emotions can narrow our focus which can be dangerous if we focus on the wrong thing.  The person who has wronged us might not have meant it; however, your anger might cover it.  Take a moment to breathe.
  • Step 3 – Lean In: It’s important to keep short accounts of the conflicts you face, because the more you let something fester the worse it will become.  I know I just said to take a step back, but don’t let it be for too long.  Leaning in means you are ready to face the situation with a clear and open mind.
  • Step 4 – Communicate Both Ways: Share your thoughts and feelings with I statements.  If you put the problem on them, they’ll only get defensive.  Make sure they are understanding what you are saying by giving them the time to ask questions, share their perspective and repeat what they are hearing you say.  Communication will not only bridge the gap, but build the trust that was lost between you.
  • Step 5 – Follow Up And Check In: Depending on the situation you will want to check-in down the road to make sure everything is cool.  As quickly as you will want to resolve the issue, you want to be aware that others heal at different rates.  Don’t dismiss the issue just because you are over it, make sure both parties are on the same page.

No one likes conflict, especially when it gets personal; however, it’s something we all need to address.  Keeping short accounts, and communicating with one another assures an issue doesn’t go unnoticed.  How much time you spend on each step will depend on the severity of the issue.  To figure that out you need to make sure you RELY ON GOD.  Seek His wisdom and He will provide.

How do you resolve conflict?