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A conflict can occur between people in many different facets of life. Whether at work or at home, it’s best to take the necessary steps that help release the frustration, sadness, and anger that conflict can create. In the workplace, conflict can lead to an innumerable amount of issues and not only harm the people involved in the conflict, but the business as a whole. Here are five steps that can be used to help resolve conflict and restore harmony.

Find a safe place to talk

In order to resolve a conflict, a safe place should be found where everyone involved in the conflict can talk. Typically, this type of space is private, neutral, and doesn’t give an advantage to either person. In addition, both parties should agree to a time when they are going to meet. In order for this step to happen, all of those involved in the conflict need to be willing to talk.

Clarifying individual perceptions

When the individuals who had a conflict meet, both of them should be given an opportunity to provide their perception of the conflict. Issues that are unrelated to the situation should not be discussed. Without emotion, the issues of each person involved in the conflict should be identified in a clear and concise manner. It can be difficult to keep emotions out of this discussion, but try to keep outbursts to a minimum.

Take an empathetic listening stance

To create a positive outcome when a conflict is being negotiated, it’s important to make sure that the thoughts and feelings of each person are understood. A deep, concerted effort must be taken to fully understand what’s being conveyed. By advocating empathy and listening to each person’s viewpoint, it will help break down the concerns of each party and make them clearly understood.

Aim to accommodate each party

To create a solution for the conflict, each concern must be analyzed at a time. The first topic should include an issue that both parties agree upon. This point is the time to collectively brainstorm and generate ideas for a solution. Each idea should be written down. When all of the ideas are on the table, both parties should agree on criteria that will be used to evaluate each option.

Developing an agreement

After evaluating each option, both parties should develop an agreement, which makes them both happy. This conclusion is done by evaluating each option for resolution and choosing a single or more than one solution. After solutions have been solidified, they should be restated back to each party to ensure that the problem is solved. After developing an agreement, both parties should leave the session and commit to the solution that’s been developed.