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8 steps for resolving a conflict

Arguments, conflicts, and disagreements can occur with your family, your friends, or your boyfriend or girlfriend. They’re part of life! To resolve a conflict, you often have to take the first steps. There’s no magic formula, but if you follow these 8 steps, it will definitely be easier!

1. Engage.

Show that you are open to listening to the other person’s opinion. The keyword: cooperation. This is something you do together: there are no winners or losers!

2. Don’t accuse the other person.

Throughout the discussion, use “I” and avoid judging or blaming the other person. He/she will be less defensive and more apt to treat you the way you’re treating him/her: respectfully.

3. Describe the problem.

Identify the situation you’re unhappy with and want to change.

4. Name your emotions.

Express what you’re feeling about this problem.

5. Search for solutions with the other person.

You can even write them down on a piece of paper. As in brainstorming, all ideas are good ideas!

6. Assess the solutions.

Is the solution the two of you found realistic? Could it solve the problem effectively?

7. Come to an agreement.

Together, choose the solution you like best and agree on how to apply it.

8. Revisit the situation.

Later on, check to find out if the agreement was respected and the problem is solved. Take time to talk with the other person and take stock. If the chosen solution didn’t work, you can try something else.

To sum up, if you’re in the middle of a disagreement with someone, don’t hesitate to talk to them about it. It could just be a misunderstanding! The important thing is to choose the right time, so the situation doesn’t get worse.

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