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Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution: Understanding and Implementing Effective Strategies

Conflict is a reality of life. Whether it occurs in our personal or professional lives, conflict can cause stress, unhappiness, and hinder our ability to achieve our goals. Conflict resolution is the process by which we manage and resolve conflicts in a productive and peaceful manner. In this article, we will explore the basics of conflict resolution, including its definition, causes, and effective resolution strategies.

What is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution is the process of addressing conflicts in an effective and constructive way. It involves identifying the source of the conflict, exploring possible resolution strategies, and implementing the most effective solution. Conflict resolution is valuable in both personal and professional relationships and can help promote mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation.

Causes of Conflict

There are several causes of conflict, including:

i. Misunderstandings: Misunderstandings can cause confusion and lead to conflict.

ii. Differences in Goals: Conflicts can arise when people have different goals or objectives.

iii. Personality Conflicts: Personal conflicts can arise when people do not get along or have different communication styles.

iv. Power Struggles: Power conflicts can occur when people seek to exert power and control over one another.

Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies

There are several effective conflict resolution strategies that can be employed in addressing conflicts between individuals or groups.

1. Active Listening: Active listening is a technique involving paying attention to the speaker, asking questions, and summarizing key points. By using active listening techniques, we can increase our understanding of the other person’s perspective and find common ground.

2. Collaborative Problem-Solving: Collaborative problem-solving involves working together to find a solution that works for both parties. It involves generating options and brainstorming solutions that are mutually beneficial.

3. Mediation: Mediation is a facilitated process where a third party helps parties to a dispute come to a mutually agreed resolution. The mediator remains neutral and helps parties explore possible solutions while communicating with one another.

4. Compromise: Compromise involves finding a middle ground that both parties can agree on. This approach requires that both parties give up something to reach an agreement.

5. Walking Away: Walking away involves recognizing that a situation is not negotiable and deciding to remove oneself from the situation. This approach is typically employed when the conflict is too intense or the other party is not willing to cooperate.


Conflict resolution is a valuable and effective strategy for addressing conflict in our personal and professional lives. By identifying the sources of conflicts, employing effective communication strategies, and implementing an appropriate conflict resolution strategy, we can manage conflicts in a way that promotes mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation. Conflict resolution requires patience, effective communication, and a willingness to learn and grow from the experience.

What is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution is a general term for numerous methods of addressing the sources of conflict.  Conflict resolution can be thought of in the legal sense as comprising arbitration, mediation, and other forms of alternate dispute resolution.  Conflict resolution can also be used to signify attempts at diplomacy between states and countries.  The objective of all these is to settle disputes between parties in the most positive way to avoid litigation, between parties contemplating a civil suit, or violent conflict, between countries.

What is involved in Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution involves the parties to the matter and an outside intermediary.  Depending on the type of conflict resolution in effect the intermediary is known as an arbitrator, mediator, or negotiator.


Arbitration is a form of conflict resolution in which an outside party, known as an arbitrator, evaluates a civil dispute between parties and, in essence, acts as the “judge and jury.”  The decision that the arbitrator makes is often binding upon the parties involved.  A court of law is, in no way, involved in arbitration and will only interfere when there are egregious actions taken on the part of the arbitrator.  Arbitration is the most common form of alternate dispute resolution seen in contract disputes.


Mediation is defined as a negotiation to resolve differences that is conducted by an impartial party.  The mediation process is considered private and confidential between the parties involved.   A typical mediation will involve the parties themselves as well as their representatives plus an outside, neutral mediator.  The mediator is the focal point of mediation.  His/her job is to listen and evaluate the situation and attempt to resolve the matter through an amicable settlement.   Unlike arbitration, which can be binding, mediation is non-binding on the parties and for any agreement to be upheld in a court of law a contract outlining the settlement must be in writing and signed by both parties.

Mediation has two purposes.  The first is to facilitate the communication between parties so that they may, on their own accord, come to a mutual agreement about a dispute.  If that does not happen mediation will take another form in which the mediator will take into account the facts and evidence presented and make a prediction on how a court of law might decide the matter.  Mediation is most often the route taken in interpersonal disputes such as divorce, estates, and other family matters.


Of course the most well known form of conflict resolution in the legal system is litigation.  Litigation involves the disputing parties going into court to have a judge or jury decide the matter for them.  Litigation is by far the most costly form of legal conflict resolution and many should attempt to resolve their differences with a form of alternate dispute resolution prior to going down that path.