Manage conflicts effectively

Effective conflict management helps to promote your relationships at home and the workplace. It also leads to cumulative benefits — it not only elevates your well-being, it also fosters harmony, goodwill, trust and camaraderie. Research reveals that unresolved interpersonal conflicts could trigger unhealthy behaviours, viz., overeating, smoking and alcohol abuse. This may lead to the return of a latent problem, too — for example, getting into the smoking habit after having kicked it at some point in time before.

What, or how, you think about a situation often affects how you feel. For example: do you feel that conflicts are caused by a personal vendetta against you, or for no real reason, or your own solecism, or someone else’s unintentional, or inadvertent, gaffe? All of us have our ‘prompts’, in one form or the other — this may well be the underpinning to ‘blowing the roof’, as it were.

Once this happens, the customary —in other words, the most predictable — feelings of anger, resentment, injustice, nepotism, bias, injury, insult, or hurt, may cascade within and outside of us.

The best thing we’d all do is to become familiar with our problem areas. This will offer useful insights into why we behave the way we do — it will also help us to control our reactively belligerent responses. This is, of course, easier said than done, but it is a doable prospect.

We would all do well to remember that we need to blow the ‘take-a-break’ whistle — when conflicts get the better of us — to make sure the situation does not intensify. We ought to also take some time off to refocus on the problem in hand with a calm and fresh outlook.

This is primarily because it is not unusual for one to bump into a solution that had been overlooked.

There are more than a handful of useful techniques as regards effective conflict management and its harmonious resolution.

1) Don’t be in a hurry to remedying a problem; listen before speaking, or acting. 2) Listening will give the right signal to your ‘aggressor’, or parties concerned — this will help one to feel that they’re being heard. It will, in turn, give them ample bandwidth to feel positively confident with the possibility of a successful conflict resolution, or reducing its impact, or burden.

3) Try to nurture, also promote, and understanding between conflicting parties. 4) Remember that good rapport is propelled by empathy. All of this encourages the parties concerned, or the arbiter, to respect one another.