Resolving a Conflict

Self-Serving Fairness Interpretations:

7/25/20235 min read

Resolving a Conflict

You will eventually have to settle a dispute if you interact with others. You might need to become involved in a dispute between two employees in your division. Alternatively, you can get upset over something your coworker is believed to have said in a meeting. You may need to resolve an argument with a client over a missed deadline. Effective conflict resolution techniques are crucial since conflict will inevitably arise in companies.

If you want to handle disagreements well, you must communicate clearly. Encouraging an open communication attitude in your department also entails encouraging coworkers to discuss work-related difficulties. The environment will then become more welcoming to hearing the problems of the workforce. To gain a deeper understanding of communication skills, learn more about the scenario and how the employees see it. Whether two employees are fighting over the desk next to the window or two employees are debating whether to turn on the heat, you must act quickly in conflict situations. You can use the following guidance if you have employees who need help to settle disputes. Conflict resolution is a formal or informal process in which two or more parties negotiate their differences amicably. Many of these unintentional cognitive and emotional mistakes might intensify the need for conflict resolution by escalating conflict:

Self-Serving Fairness Interpretations:

Instead of determining what is fair objectively, we perceive what would seem much more logical to us and then justify this decision. For instance, department heads will likely all feel they should get the lion's share of the annual budget. Conflicts arise when people differ on what is just.


We frequently have irrational expectations because we tend to be overconfident in our assessments. For instance, contesting sides will overstate their prospects of winning a trial. As a result, it can lead them to reject a compromise that might save them time and money.

Negotiators are prone to excessively reinforce their devotion to their strategic plan long after it has served its purpose, whether they are negotiating a merger, a labor strike, or a disagreement with a coworker. We scramble to recoup our earlier outlays in a dispute (such money spent on legal fees), oblivious that such "sunk costs" shouldn't affect our decisions in life.

Conflict Management:

Because they make us feel uncomfortable and distressed, we can try to repress negative feelings in the hope that they will pass eventually. Conflict gets entrenched and requires more conflict resolution when parties avoid dealing with their strong emotions. Given these and other disadvantages, how can a successful conflict resolution procedure be formed when handling conflict at work and in other settings? Various strategies can be used to resolve disagreements, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation.


The cooperative negotiating strategies you use to close deals can and should be applied to resolving disputes. For instance, you want to try to comprehend the motivations underlying the parties' points of view, such as a desire to mend a strained business relationship or to resolve a dispute amicably. Decide what you'll do if you can't agree as well, such as finding a new partner or filing a lawsuit. This is the BATNA or Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement. By coming up with ideas and seeking out compromises among various issues, you can negotiate an acceptable settlement to your conflict without the assistance of other parties.


In conciliation, the parties in conflict ask a knowledgeable, objective third party to help them agree. Instead of forcing a solution on disputants, a skilled mediator helps them consider their respective perspectives' interests. By working with parties jointly and individually, mediation seeks to help them come to a peaceful, lasting, and non-binding conclusion.


Arbitration, which can resemble a court trial, is a conflict resolution process where a neutral third party acts as the judge and renders findings. The arbitrator renders a final, frequently subjective ruling after considering each party's arguments and verifiable facts. Although an arbitrator's decision is usually final and cannot be appealed, the other aspects of the arbitration process, such as the participation of counsel and the accepted standards of proof, are subject to negotiation between the parties.


The parties are in front of a jury during a civil trial, which involves deliberation, consideration of the evidence, and a verdict. The testimony offered during hearing trials is made available to the public. Settlements are usually negotiated during the pretrial stage of litigation, which attorneys frequently dominate.

Generally speaking, starting with less formal, less expensive dispute resolution procedures like consultation and mediation makes sense before investing the additional time and money that arbitration and litigation typically demand. Additionally, receiving training in conflict resolution will aid you in negotiating resolutions to your problems that are more successful.

Keep Calm and Have a Discussion

Conflict is inevitable and occasionally beneficial (when handled appropriately). Because two people can't always agree on everything, it's crucial to have adult conversations about how we feel in interpersonal and professional relationships.

Instead of avoiding conflict, one might approach it respectfully and constructively. Here are some methods for handling conflicts that will help you remain calm no matter what, especially at work when getting along with others is essential.

It's a good idea to manage conflict if you do so in a constructive manner. Conflict resolution may positively affect relationships, self-awareness, and understanding. Naturally, the "correct" strategy for tackling a problem depends on the specifics, and each of us has a preferred approach. Use the four-step C-A-L-M technique to resolve disputes, no matter your strategy.

Define the Problem:

  • Consider the disagreement from your point of view and prepare your strategy for the discussion.

  • Pay close attention to the core objectives, conditions, and problems.

  • Invite your coworker to participate in a private conversation with you.

  • Establish the ground rules for handling the issue, stressing that open communication and debate are the best approaches to finding a solution instead of placing blame or avoiding the issue altogether.

  • Despite your agreement with your coworker's viewpoint, offer them the opportunity to express it and show them that you value their thoughts and feelings.

  • Determining how your activities affect them depends on understanding their goals and motives.

Accept The Issue:

It is typical to find that you have different viewpoints because of your diverse interests and goals. Find out what your teammate sees as the real issue instead of presuming something is the issue. Try to understand the disagreement from a neutral position while concentrating on the facts and professional considerations. Be careful not to discuss personalities in the conversation.

After identifying and agreeing on the problem or problems that need to be fixed, you can only begin looking for a solution acceptable to both parties.

Actively listening

Ensure you hear and understand the opinions of your coworkers by engaging in active listening. Repeat, paraphrase, and summarize what was said to ensure you understood it. If you can't generally alter people's perceptions of the problem, at least find out how they perceive it. Your word choice has a significant impact on how the conversation goes. Consider your words carefully, provide specific examples of how the disagreement affected the situation, and avoid sweeping generalizations.

Your Resolution Can Be Managed:

Thanks to the earlier methods, you may have settled the argument with more knowledge. You two might recognize the obvious solution that will please you both. If not, try asking hypothetical questions like "I wonder if...," "Have you thought about...," or "How might we...?" to start a dialogue.

Make a list of potential solutions together. Be open to all ideas, even those you've never considered before. You must participate honestly in the process to arrive at the best solution.