Conflict Resolution: Tangible Tips Part 1

Conflict Res #1 pic 1 al pointing talkDo you find it hard to resolve your arguments?

Interpersonal conflict happens all the time. We are all unique beings with our individualized beliefs, opinions, perspectives and personality traits. So in a relationship, there are bound to be some clashes, disputes or disagreements as people bump up against their divergent attitudes.
Anyone can have a disagreement. The important part is how each person chooses to handle the conflict when it happens. In this article and Part 2, I will encourage people to handle their struggles in a way that it is resolved in a positive, Win/Win, and respectful outcome.

What is Conflict?

A conflict is defined as a struggle between two parties. They differ in opinions, methods, viewpoints, financial choices, parenting techniques, rules and so forth. In that moment, they lock heads and disagree.

The Art of Conflict Negotiation 

The skill to learn is how to come up with a positive resolution (end) to the differences. If feelings are running high, maybe the art of walking away. Time to take a break to calm down before working things out.  Finally, the knowledge of how to work things out in a positive and constructive way.

Is Conflict always Negative?

If a dispute is handled poorly, unreasonably or disrespectfully, it can develop damaging feelings, deepen differences or polarize positions. However, well-managed conflict can lead to constructive changes, give insight and improve understanding. Conflict can bring to light differences. If these differences are worked through properly, it can bring people closer together. Remember all the movies you have watched where two people or groups dislike each other and then, in the end, become close friends. Look at the relationship the U.S, now has with Germany and Japan. We once  were bitter enemies in a World War. Today, we work together as allies and friends. Resolving arguments can increase understanding, release feelings/stress, resolve tension and clear the air. Resolved conflict, can build stronger connections and deepen understanding in a relationship.

Conflict Res #1 pic 2 al with hands in faceNegative ways to Deal with Conflict:

• Winner takes all through strength, power or intimidation.
• The compromise is lacking for both sides therefore, both parties are  less committed and engaged in a positive outcome.
• Denial or avoidance causes everyone to pretend there is no problem. Thennothing ever changes, improves or gets resolved.
• Ignoring the problem, so harmony is maintained, but the underlying conflict continues to fester.

Productive Skills for Handling Conflict:

If you are striving for a healthy, happy relationship, both sides can learn the basic skills of resolving problems in a constructive and beneficial manner. There is a wide range of useful habits for conducting conflict productivity. Conflict Resolution is NOT about winning the argument. It is a method for learning a positive, respectful, and constructive way to work through relationship disputes.

In article two of this series, I will teach down-to-earth methods and the actual steps of positive conflict resolution. Go to to read more on this subject.

For more information on this process, you can read, “Conflict Management: A Practical Guide to Developing Negotiation Strategies” by Barbara A. Budjac Corvette, Ph.D. and “Negotiation” by Roy Lewieki and David Saunders. To calm down so you can better handle the conflict, listen to Relax, Unwind & Sleep  CD available at or Itunes.