Human Resources

Conflict Resolution – Strategies and Resolutions from Mines and Associates


Conflict is unavoidable. But how you deal with conflict is a skill everyone should learn. Oftentimes, how you go about
resolving a conflict can dramatically impact whether or not the same conflict comes up again. By allowing a conflict to end
badly or go ignored, you never come up with a solution that resolves the issue. Below are some important strategies that will
help you navigate those adverse moments and come out at the end with a positive outcome.

Common Resolution Strategies

When faced with a conflict, consider which resolution strategy is right for your situation.
• Problem-solving: You calmly and rationally look at the situation and work together to find a solution that’s good for
everyone. This is often the highest and most difficult level of conflict resolution.
• Avoidance: You recognize that your involvement will only deepen the conflict, so you choose to stay out of the disagreement.
Avoidance works for minor disputes and shows that you can let others work out their own issues.
• Compromise: You find a common ground that each party can agree on and help everyone give up something for the
greater good of the group.
• Dictating: You’re tasked with making a decision that will support the needs of everyone involved.
• Accommodation: Often the “last resort” in a conflict, you go above and beyond to accommodate the needs of others, even
if it’s at the cost of your own wants or needs.

Group Resolution

When two or more parties are involved in a conflict, it can be tricky to get involved – especially if they don’t want outside
interference. When a group conflict arises, consider these steps:
• Get involved only when asked
• Help everyone see things from the other party’s perspective
• Have each party explain what they want to accomplish
• Don’t let time constraints influence the outcome

• Actively listen to what’s being said
• Don’t rush to a judgment or side with one party from the start
• Look for the middle ground that will lead to a win-win resolution
• Keep the conflict focused on the issues at hand and not the people involved
• Help everyone see misunderstandings that are preventing a resolution
• Keep everyone calm and avoid inciting emotional reactions
• If you can’t remain neutral, ask a third party to step in to mediate

If You’re a Participant
If you’re involved in the conflict, you need to keep these additional points in mind:
• If it appears that you’re in the wrong, be willing to admit that you made a mistake or acted in poor judgment. It takes a
lot of courage to admit that you’re not in the right during a disagreement and it sends a message that’s loud and clear
about your personality.
• If you’re in the right, avoid blaming the other party for what’s happened. Stay calm, respectful, and supportive of the
other party.
• Don’t let your anger get the better of you. Disagreements can easily become heated and change the tone and focus of the
conflict. Count to 10, walk away for a few moments, schedule a time to discuss what’s happened – just don’t push the
conflict further by letting your anger get involved.

When to Step Back
You have to know how to pick and choose your battles. If you turn every minor conflict into a full-blown argument, you’re
setting yourself up for a lot of disagreements. Recognize when a conflict needs to be discussed openly and when a conflict
needs to be overlooked for the good of everyone involved.