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The 5 drivers of conflict resolution

This is the first of a series of one-minute articles about conflict. Whilst most of the time we do not seek conflict, we see and experience it regularly. Often, the conflicts are complex, not in the least because they are a mixture of reason and emotion. But, whilst the conflicts may be complex, the process to resolution is not. In this series I will discuss that process and its elements so that we can bring conflict to something that is manageable and even avoidable.

As a start, conflict is a position, conflict resolution is a process and that process has these five distinct elements:

Trust and respect: These are intertwined and pave the way to effective conversations and problem solving. Trust, earned through consistent honesty and reliability, cultivates an environment where individuals feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings. Respect acknowledges the inherent worth of each person's perspective and encourages open-mindedness.

Listening – Being heard and feeling listened to develops trust, it empowers individuals to express themselves authentically and contributes to a sense of validation and belonging. Genuine listening goes beyond mere acknowledgment; it involves actively seeking to understand another's point of view.

Perspective – Once there is trust and respect we are open to start seeing different points of view, we develop a level of empathy for the other party and where they stand in the conflict

Doubt – Whilst once so certain of your own standpoint, the realisation of another reality creates some doubt about your own views. It leads to open-mindedness and whilst not necessarily agreeing with, at least understanding other views

Risk – What if we don’t resolve this conflict? That is not only about what may happen but also what may not happen, such as escalation, the continued anxiety, the costs, the missed opportunities, staying stuck, eroded connections.

Through trust, respect and perspective we build bridges instead of walls. That can prevent conflict and resolve conflict. If that cannot be achieved without 3rd party support, Mediation is a path worth considering.


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