What Is Conflict Resolution?

It’s impossible for any one of us to say that they were never involved in a conflict. Conflicts are a part of our lives, as well as part of any organization’s life. Conflicts appear when we have two or more parties whose interests, values or goals are very different, or when said parties compete for the same thing. We can encounter, at different scales, personal, emotional, financial, or political conflicts. One thing we need to remember is that conflicts are not always bad. Conflicts can bring improvement and gains if they are addressed and managed properly.

Conflict resolution represents the process through which a conflict is resolved in an amiable manner, and through which the goals and interests of all parties involved are at least partially met. This is done by treating conflict as a situation of crisis. However, one that can be solved through dialogue and negotiation, or better said by focusing on finding a solution to which the parties can agree, and by improving the relations between the parties involved in the conflict.

Negotiation implies that probably neither party will have their demands fully met. However, the gains will most likely surpass what you would get without sitting down and negotiating. Furthermore, by negotiating you get the chance to better understand the other person’s point of view, and use that information to prevent future conflicts. This will help build trust and improve your relationship with the other party. This is important for three reasons: the first is that you will turn a potential enemy into a friend and perhaps an ally; the second is that fewer conflicts mean you will save resources (time, money, energy) which you can invest in things you actually enjoy doing or in expanding your operations; the third is that better relations with those around you represent an invaluable resource which you can use for mutual support and gain.

Basically, what you need to remember is that conflict resolution refers to finding the best possible solution for all the parties involved. It’s based on mutual respect, dialogue, and negotiation. Although the process might not always result in the best solution or complete satisfaction on both sides, it’s worth investing resources in order to minimize the damage in an otherwise costly conflict.