Steps For Simple Conflict Resolution
Each person is unique with distinct opinions, agendas, wants and needs. Hence, it is a completely erroneous notion to assume that anyone can move through life without being confronted with conflict.
Teenagers are not innately equipped with the tools needed for navigating conflict resolution, and without ample guidance, may become conflict avoidant. While there are definitely some people that are conflict averse, it is important to note that as much as someone may attempt to avoid conflicts, conflicts will inevitably arise throughout adolescence and beyond.
Along with the plethora of lessons young people encounter throughout adolescence, conflict resolution may be one of the most important. Learning effective conflict resolution skills during adolescence can help a young person properly advocate for themselves, while respecting and honoring those they may be in conflict with. Breaking down the steps for effective conflict resolution practices can be helpful for both parents and teenagers. Here are steps for simple conflict resolution.
Establish Ground Rules
As a parent, difficult situations that arise may immediately prompt you to delve into a heated discussion with your teenager. However, prior to initiating any attempts to resolve a conflict it is helpful to establish ground rules for the discussion. It is also important to make sure there is a mutual agreement to have and participate in a discussion in the first place. Examples of ground rules can include any combination of the following:
- Do not interrupt
- No insults
- Speak in a calm voice
- Remain respectful
- Be kind
When ground rules are co created and agreed upon it gives both parties a vested interest in honoring them. It also sets the stage for continued collaboration in the conflict resolution process. The clearly identified ground rules can help the conversation remain on track and provide a better opportunity for the discussion to yield productive results.
Talk About The Issue
Although emotions may be intense, after the ground rules have been set, a discussion should begin. Each person should take turns sharing his or her perspective, including his or her feelings and thoughts about the situation. Allowing one person to fully discuss his or her feelings regarding the issue at a time, without interruption, will hopefully provide insight into the other person’s perspective and help to create a productive flow to the conversation.
Identify And Name The Conflict
With elevated emotions, it is not uncommon for the actual core issue of the conflict to be lost. Clearly identifying the core of the conflict is the only way to effectively facilitate finding a solution. Naming and concisely articulating the conflict can help align both parties to remain focused on the problem and reaching a resolution.
Brainstorm Conflict Resolution Options
Similar to the ‘talking about the issue step’, it is helpful to have each person take turns in providing possible ways to resolve the conflict, without interruption. Sharing thoughts, ideas, compromises and/ or possibilities for resolving a conflict can help advance the conflict resolution process. During this step it is especially imperative for all people involved to remain open-minded and respectful of others suggestions.
Agree On A Resolve
Review all the possibilities that were brought up in the previous step. It is helpful for all people involved to remain open to compromise. Isolate which elements and/ or resolution possibilities can be combined and integrated into reaching a mutually agreed upon resolution.
Say It Out Loud
Once an agreement has been reached and a viable resolution has been achieved, it is essential to verbalize the solution. Similar to naming the source of the initial conflict, state the resolve out loud. Hearing the resolution out loud can help assure everyone involved fully understands the outcome of the discussion and is commonly aligned with the resolution.
For Information and Support
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769.