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Conflict resolution strategies. Speak up. Listen. Be Assertive. Forget it. Speak Up.

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Conflict resolution strategies

  • Speak up
  • Listen
  • Be Assertive
  • Forget it
speak up
Speak Up

It happens with most of the people, that they isolate themselves from their friends, relatives and subordinates, when they are going through a bad phase or are facing any type of conflicts in their life. However, such a strategy (or many a times, a habit!) does not work. This is because, the more you keep quiet, bigger the conflict gets. It is therefore advisable to speak up your mind. Speak about your conflicts to your friends, relatives or whoever is close to you. Get an expert advice from the elder members of your family. Their life experience would help you resolve the conflict! Apart from speaking up to friends and relatives, keep your ego aside, gather enough courage and speak directly with the person with whom you are in a conflict. Discuss the reasons, make a compromise and reach to a mutual settlement where both of you are happy and contended with whatever is decided. I suppose this is the best strategy because you two are the ones who know the conflict better than anyone else.


A conflict situation is one full of people from all sides, trying to voice their opinions at the same time. Speaking gives you the liberty to express your thoughts. But when it comes to conflict resolution, speaking proves to be effective only after listening to something. So if you desire to come up with a good solution to the conflict, develop your listening skills. Listening just doesn't mean to hear the problem. But here it means to actually listen and understand the problem and developing a solution in your mind simultaneously. Listening not only helps you in developing a solution, but also makes you understand the point of view of the person in front of you. Once you are done with listening, the other person will listen to you and now you can express your thoughts. A mutual understanding of each other's feelings and expectations would thus resolve the conflict and strengthen the bond between both of you.

be assertive
Be Assertive

Assertiveness plays an important role, when it comes conflict management. Assertiveness is a combination of several different qualities. While being assertive you need to be patient, a good listener, confident and have a positive thinking towards life. Try to indulge in such a communication process that would give birth to a solution, beneficial to both the parties. Avoid using words such as 'I do' or 'I don't do'. Instead, use words like 'I feel' or 'I believe'. Remember the principle, 'I am OK, you are OK', while being assertive to resolve a conflict. It should be a 'win-win' situation for everyone. Do not be biased, think from all the possible perspectives and verify all the facts.

forget it
Forget It

Time is said to be the best medicine to cure the wounds caused to your mind and heart. If you have tried everything that was possible from your side and all your negotiation skills and conflict resolution strategies have failed to resolve the conflict, then it is advisable to maintain distance from that person for some time. Let time heal your wounds and once its done, forget everything, meet up once again and speak. But if you think that the conflict would even then never get resolved, then cut ties forever. It is better to cut ties than bear the conflict for an eternity.


Use these conflict resolution strategies and you will definitely come up with an effective solution. Life is a short journey, so do not ruin it with petty things such as disputes and conflicts. Rather enjoy it. See that you avoid conflicts in future and speak your concern for anything then and there itself. But yes, also remember to 'think' before you speak something, or your words might lead to another conflict. If you have a conflict, get it resolved once and for all, instead of stewing over it for ever!


Put it into practice

  • Consider the following short scenarios relating to work and social problems.
  • Write your answer in your books and use the following headings .
  • 1 Potential reasons for conflict.
  • 3 Other information you might require.
  • 4 Possible alternative solutions.
scenario 1
Scenario 1

You are discussing going on holiday with a group of 4 friends. You would like to spend a bit of money and get a nice resort, hotel, full-board - a complete break. Your friends, especially one of them, is keen to have a budget holiday, self catering and a wild time! You feel that the discussion is going their way. You want to share this holiday though, otherwise you may have to miss out or go alone

solution 1
Solution 1

Reasons for Conflict:

  personality clash, power, differing objectives, different financial power, poor communication.

Other information

  previous holidays, length and establishment of friendship, other financial resources, normal hobbies/social activities, other 2 friends opinions, importance of holiday.

Possible solutions:

  compromise on accommodation, go own way when there, accept others ideas, so negotiate for your kind of holiday next time, persuade to take your holiday, go alone, clarify exact needs, wants and resources 

scenario 2
Scenario 2

You have been employed as a supervisor in the same department for 4 years. You are well respected and do a good job. A new supervisor has recently been appointed whom you have to work with. They are continually re-organising the section, re-prioritising work which you have allocated and questioning your judgement openly.

solution 2
Solution 2

Reasons for Conflict:

power, status, personality clash, insecurity, poor systems and communication.

Other information:

  work performance of each, personalities, was new supervisor internally or externally recruited, staff attitudes, management attitude and cultural values.

Possible solutions:

  transfer either, improve communication, control systems, open discussion, team meeting, assertive behaviour.

news flash
News Flash

Malema song could lead to conflict

ACDP youth foundation wants Malema to apologise

Apr 6, 2010 11:01 AM | By Sapa

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema's insistence on singing the "shoot the boer" song could lead to conflict, Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said.


“His arrogance exceeds his intelligence,” he said about Malema. “He isn't concerned about the court ruling and he becomes challenging. This lifts emotional levels, which could lead to conflict.” - Pieter Groenewald -

scenario 3
Scenario 3

The ANC is concerned about the disturbances caused by

Julius Malema and the possible conflict that could ensue.

Your group has been assigned the task of resolving this

conflict. Prepare a feedback session to your Minister

Teacher and their class of assessors as to how you will

go about resolving this conflict.

Each group must select a person to report back.

personal reflection
Personal reflection

Identify a problem of your own that you either have been or are currently involved in. Practice using conflict management, to arrive at a solution and action plan which you feel will resolve your problem.