August 14, 2019

Conflict Mediation in 3 Easy Steps

Well, “easy” may not be the best way to characterize conflict mediation. Often, the roots of conflict run deep, so deep that we may not fully understand what it is we are reacting to. Is it a clash of values? Differing perceptions of the same situation? Unmet expectations?

When we find ourselves at odds with someone else, as we inevitably will, it is useful to step back and ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is the problem? What is the nature of the conflict and how is it playing out for me in this relationship?
  2. What do I want? What are my underlying interests that I believe are in danger of being violated or unfulfilled because of the conflict?
  3. What is at stake? Why is it important that the conflict be resolved? What are the negative consequences if it is not resolved?

Answering these three questions will not in itself resolve the conflict. It will, however, give you the clarity you need to have the honest and authentic discussion that will enhance your chances of achieving a successful resolution.

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