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106 Conflict Resolution Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

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Conflict resolution is an essential skill that plays a crucial role in various aspects of our lives. Whether it is in personal relationships, the workplace, or even on a global scale, conflicts are inevitable. However, it is how we address and resolve these conflicts that determines the outcome and impact they have on our lives and the world around us.

Writing an essay on conflict resolution can provide a deeper understanding of this skill and its significance. To help you get started, here are 106 conflict resolution essay topic ideas and examples:

  • The importance of conflict resolution in personal relationships.
  • Conflict resolution techniques used in international diplomacy.
  • The role of empathy in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution strategies for parents and children.
  • The impact of unresolved conflicts on mental health.
  • Conflict resolution in the workplace: best practices.
  • The role of effective communication in resolving conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution in multicultural societies.
  • The influence of gender on conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution and negotiation skills in business.
  • The role of compromise in resolving conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution in online communities.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on organizational productivity.
  • Conflict resolution and its effect on community building.
  • The role of forgiveness in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in educational settings.
  • Conflict resolution in the criminal justice system.
  • The impact of cultural differences on conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in the healthcare industry.
  • Conflict resolution in sports teams.
  • Conflict resolution and human rights.
  • The role of power dynamics in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution and social media.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on economic development.
  • Conflict resolution in environmental disputes.
  • Conflict resolution and international cooperation.
  • The role of mediation in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in the family business.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on personal growth.
  • Conflict resolution and social justice.
  • Conflict resolution and restorative justice.
  • The role of negotiation in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in political campaigns.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on romantic relationships.
  • Conflict resolution in the classroom.
  • Conflict resolution and conflict prevention.
  • The role of compromise in international conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution and the media.
  • Conflict resolution in the digital age.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on community engagement.
  • Conflict resolution and public policy.
  • Conflict resolution and mental health stigma.
  • The role of leadership in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in the family court system.
  • Conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on employee satisfaction.
  • Conflict resolution in the nonprofit sector.
  • Conflict resolution and social inequality.
  • The role of trust in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in the music industry.
  • Conflict resolution in urban planning.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on interpersonal relationships.
  • Conflict resolution in the military.
  • Conflict resolution and workplace diversity.
  • The role of emotions in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution and environmental conservation.
  • Conflict resolution in international trade disputes.
  • Conflict resolution and community policing.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on team dynamics.
  • Conflict resolution in diplomatic negotiations.
  • Conflict resolution and conflict transformation.
  • The role of dialogue in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution and social change.
  • Conflict resolution in healthcare teams.
  • Conflict resolution and human rights violations.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on organizational culture.
  • Conflict resolution in online gaming communities.
  • Conflict resolution and the justice system.
  • The role of compromise in interpersonal conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution and urban development.
  • Conflict resolution in the tech industry.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on workplace communication.
  • Conflict resolution and gender equality.
  • Conflict resolution in community organizations.
  • Conflict resolution and sustainable development.
  • The role of active listening in conflict resolution.
  • Conflict resolution in international peacekeeping missions.
  • Conflict resolution and social entrepreneurship.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on employee well-being.
  • Conflict resolution in the film industry.
  • Conflict resolution and environmental justice.
  • The role of negotiation in interpersonal conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution in public health emergencies.
  • Conflict resolution and poverty reduction.
  • Conflict resolution in online dating.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on family dynamics.
  • Conflict resolution and international human rights law.
  • Conflict resolution and workplace ethics.
  • The role of compromise in political conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution in the fashion industry.
  • Conflict resolution and sustainable agriculture.
  • Conflict resolution in international aid organizations.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on organizational effectiveness.
  • Conflict resolution in online marketing campaigns.
  • Conflict resolution and racial justice.
  • The role of empathy in interpersonal conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution in disaster response efforts.
  • Conflict resolution and social media activism.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on team performance.
  • Conflict resolution in international business transactions.
  • Conflict resolution and sustainable tourism.
  • Conflict resolution in humanitarian interventions.
  • The role of compromise in environmental conflicts.
  • Conflict resolution and sustainable energy.
  • Conflict resolution in international sports competitions.
  • The impact of conflict resolution on community empowerment.

These essay topics cover a wide range of areas where conflict resolution plays a significant role. Whether you are interested in personal relationships, international affairs, or social justice, there is a topic that suits your interests. Remember to conduct thorough research and provide examples to support your arguments. Good luck with your essay!

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Managing Conflict Resolution Effectively

How to set boundaries and act assertively in conflict..

Posted January 11, 2024 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader

  • Assertiveness and boundaries are a powerful combination for managing conflict.
  • When you are being nonjudgmental and cultivating compassion, collaboration increases.
  • Practice active listening to understand your partner while finding common ground.

Source: Moshe Ratson

Conflict resolution is a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement among them. When a dispute arises, often the best course of action is assertive communication that resolves the disagreement while maintaining a respectful relationship.

When conflicts are managed constructively, it can help build trust in relationships. Respectfully, directly, and openly discussing opposing perspectives and resolving conflicts collaboratively can create a sense of unity, shared purpose, and mutual respect within the relationship.

Assertiveness and boundaries are essential skills for managing conflict in any situation. Whether it is at work, in your relationships, or in your team, you need to be able to express your feelings, thoughts, needs, and opinions respectfully and confidently.

What is assertive communication?

Assertive communication is a style of communication based on honesty, respect, and confidence . Assertiveness is the ability to express feelings and thoughts openly and to directly defend your rights while respecting the rights of others. It is about taking care of your own needs and wants while considering the needs and wants of others. It is the ability to take responsibility without being controlling. Assertiveness is the balanced space between surrender and aggressiveness. It is not about overpowering or dominating, but rather about finding balance, harmony, and mutual understanding.

Why is assertive communication important for dealing with conflict?

Assertive communication is an essential skill for conflict resolution, as it enables you to express your needs in a respectful manner while also collaboratively resolving your disagreement with your partner. Assertiveness helps build trust and rapport with your partner, empowering your partner while enhancing your self-esteem and confidence. In addition, assertive communication minimizes stress , while ensuring your rights and boundaries are respected.

Assertive communication is important because it ensures that you deliver your points in a constructive way—respectful, clear, direct, and kind. When you communicate in that manner, it will naturally help diffuse the conflict, establish healthy boundaries, and also prevent any issue from escalating.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the limits and rules you set for yourself and others in your interactions. They reflect your values, preferences, and expectations and help you define what is acceptable or unacceptable for you. Boundaries help individuals establish limits and protect their emotional and physical well-being. Without boundaries, individuals may not feel safe or secure in their relationships or environments.

Set healthy boundaries

Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with others is a skill you can learn and practice. To do so, identify your boundaries—what you want and need, what makes you feel comfortable and uncomfortable, and your non-negotiables. Then communicate them clearly, directly, and respectfully to others. Be consistent and firm, but also flexible and open to feedback. If someone crosses or violates your boundaries, let them know how you feel and what you expect. Take action to protect yourself if they persist or disrespect your boundaries. Lastly, respect the boundaries of others. Ask for permission, listen to their cues, and accept their “no” without judgment, pressure, or manipulation.

Integrate assertiveness and boundaries to resolve conflict

Handling conflict with boundaries and assertiveness is not always easy, but it is achievable and beneficial. To do so, identify your state of mind, feelings, and needs, and prepare your statements. Choose an appropriate time and location to have a discussion about the conflict and make sure that both parties are ready and willing to converse. During the talk, objectively focus on the issue rather than the person. Avoid personal attacks, put down, or allegations, and use “I” statements to express your perspective. Stay calm and listen with curiosity to understand your partner while finding common ground. Respect both of your boundaries and rights while being willing to compromise and negotiate. Stay open-minded and make sure you maintain a caring relationship with your partner regardless of conflict and its outcome. Finally, thank the other person for their time and effort, summarizing what you agreed upon, expressing appreciation, and hoping for a stronger relationship and a bright future.

Practice active listening

To identify the source of the conflict, you have to pay attention and listen carefully. To listen actively, make sure you understand your partner and paraphrase the other party's points.

Pay attention to nonverbal signals and use appropriate body language , such as nodding your head, to show interest and to clarify that you're following them.

Listen without interruption to what the other person has to say. Aspire to be objective and clear. Then, ask questions to make sure each side understands what the other person thinks, feels, and wants.

Do that before speaking

Before you communicate, ask yourself the following questions about what you wish to say:

conflict resolution plan essay

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it useful?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it going to land well?
  • Is this the right time to say it?

If one of the answers is no, consider not saying it. In these moments, silence is more productive than words. Be patient and once you find the time when the answers to these questions are yes, this is the time to speak.

7 steps for better conflict resolution

  • Define the source of the conflict. Take your time to reveal the true needs of each party. The greater knowledge you have about the cause of the problem, the more easily you can resolve it.
  • Find a common goal. Make similarities the starting point of finding a creative solution. Be open and curious to continually find common ground throughout the entire conflict resolution process.
  • Establish safety. Creative conflict resolution requires that all parties feel safe enough to not only share what they need but to challenge each other's ideas without emotional escalation.
  • Recognize your part. Be accountable and objectively assess your share in the conflict. Acknowledge your role in the problem and take responsibility for it.
  • Empathize with your partner. Demonstrate to your partner that you understand their side while considering it. When you are being non-judgmental and cultivate compassion the fear of losing diminishes and collaboration increases.
  • Review options. Remind yourself of your positive intention and what you want to achieve before you start the discussion. Be creative and discuss possible options while looking for solutions that benefit all parties.
  • Discover a win-win solution. This is the ultimate goal—to agree on an option that benefits both sides to some extent. When one party wins and another party loses, the outcome does not resolve the underlying causes of the conflict.

Conflicts and disagreements are unavoidable. It is important to realize that the benefits of conflict resolution extend beyond resolving disagreements, contributing significantly to personal growth, emotional well-being, and healthy relationships.

Moshe Ratson MBA, MFT

Moshe Ratson, MBA, MFT, is a psychotherapist and executive coach in NYC. He specializes in personal and professional development, anger management, emotional intelligence, infidelity issues, and couples and marriage therapy.

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What is conflict?

Causes of conflict in a relationship, how do you respond to conflict, conflict resolution, stress, and emotions, core skill 1: quick stress relief, core skill 2: emotional awareness, nonverbal communication and conflict resolution, more tips for managing and resolving conflict, conflict resolution skills.

Whatever the cause of disagreements and disputes at home or work, these skills can help you resolve conflict in a constructive way and keep your relationships strong and growing.

conflict resolution plan essay

Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything, all the time. The key is not to fear or try to avoid conflict but to learn how to resolve it in a healthy way.

When conflict is mismanaged, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people. Whether you’re experiencing conflict at home, work, or school, learning these skills can help you resolve differences in a healthy way and build stronger, more rewarding relationships.

Conflict 101

  • A conflict is more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real).
  • Conflicts continue to fester when ignored. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them.
  • We respond to conflicts based on our perceptions of the situation, not necessarily to an objective review of the facts. Our perceptions are influenced by our life experiences, culture, values, and beliefs.
  • Conflicts trigger strong emotions. If you aren’t comfortable with your emotions or able to manage them in times of stress, you won’t be able to resolve conflict successfully.
  • Conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.

Conflict arises from differences, both large and small. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desires. Sometimes these differences appear trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is often at the core of the problem. These needs can range from the need to feel safe and secure or respected and valued, to the need for greater closeness and intimacy.

Think about the opposing needs of a toddler and a parent. The child’s need is to explore, so venturing to the street or the cliff edge meets that need. But the parent’s need is to protect the child’s safety, a need that can only be met by limiting the toddler’s exploration. Since these needs are at odds, conflict arises.

The needs of each party play an important role in the long-term success of a relationship. Each deserves respect and consideration. In personal relationships, a lack of understanding about differing needs can result in distance, arguments, and break-ups. In the workplace, differing needs can result in broken deals, decreased profits, and lost jobs.

[Read: Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship]

When you can recognize conflicting needs and are willing to examine them with compassion and understanding, it can lead to creative problem solving, team building, and stronger relationships.

Speak to a Licensed Therapist

BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you to licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Take the assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours.

Do you fear conflict or avoid it at all costs? If your perception of conflict comes from painful memories from early childhood or previous unhealthy relationships, you may expect all disagreements to end badly. You may view conflict as demoralizing, humiliating, or something to fear. If your early life experiences left you feeling powerless or out of control, conflict may even be traumatizing for you.

If you’re afraid of conflict, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you enter a conflict situation already feeling threatened, it’s tough to deal with the problem at hand in a healthy way. Instead, you’re more likely to either shut down or blow up in anger.

Healthy and unhealthy ways of managing and resolving conflict

Conflict triggers strong emotions and can lead to hurt feelings, disappointment, and discomfort. When handled in an unhealthy manner, it can cause irreparable rifts, resentments, and break-ups. But when conflict is resolved in a healthy way, it increases your understanding of the other person, builds trust, and strengthens your relationships.

If you are out of touch with your feelings or so stressed that you can only pay attention to a limited number of emotions, you won’t be able to understand your own needs. This will make it hard to communicate with others and establish what’s really troubling you. For example, couples often argue about petty differences—the way she hangs the towels, the way he slurps his soup—rather than what is  really bothering them.

The ability to successfully resolve conflict depends on your ability to:

  • Manage stress quickly while remaining alert and calm. By staying calm, you can accurately read and interpret verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Control your emotions and behavior. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your needs without threatening, intimidating, or punishing others.
  • Pay attention to the  feelings being expressed as well as the spoken words of others.
  • Be aware of and respect differences. By avoiding disrespectful words and actions, you can almost always resolve a problem faster.

To successfully resolve a conflict, you need to learn and practice two core skills:

  • Quick stress relief: the ability to quickly relieve stress in the moment.
  • Emotional awareness: the ability to remain comfortable enough with your emotions to react in constructive ways, even in the midst of a perceived attack.

Being able to manage and relieve stress in the moment is the key to staying balanced, focused, and in control, no matter what challenges you face. If you don’t know how to stay centered and in control of yourself, you will become overwhelmed in conflict situations and unable to respond in healthy ways.

Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:

Foot on the gas. An angry or agitated stress response. You’re heated, keyed up, overly emotional, and unable to sit still.

Foot on the brake. A withdrawn or depressed stress response. You shut down, space out, and show very little energy or emotion.

Foot on both gas and brake. A tense and frozen stress response. You “freeze” under pressure and can’t do anything. You look paralyzed, but under the surface you’re extremely agitated.

How stress affects conflict resolution

Stress interferes with the ability to resolve conflict by limiting your ability to:

  • Accurately read another person’s body language .
  • Hear what someone is really saying.
  • Be aware of your own feelings.
  • Be in touch with your own, deep-rooted needs.
  • Communicate your needs clearly.

Is stress a problem for you?

You may be so used to feeling stressed that you’re not even aware you  are stressed. Stress may pose a problem in your life if you identify with the following:

  • You often feel tense or tight somewhere in your body.
  • You’re not aware of movement in your chest or stomach when you breathe.
  • Conflict absorbs your time and attention.

Learn how to manage stress in the moment

One of the most reliable ways to rapidly reduce stress is by engaging one or more of your senses—sight, sound, taste, smell, touch—or through movement. You could squeeze a stress ball, smell a relaxing scent, taste a soothing cup of tea, or look at a treasured photograph. We all tend to respond differently to sensory input, often depending on how we respond to stress, so take some time to find things that are soothing to you. Read: Quick Stress Relief .

Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others. If you don’t know how or why you feel a certain way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or resolve disagreements.

[Read: Improving Emotional Intelligence]

Although knowing your own feelings may sound simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. Your ability to handle conflict, however, depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on finding solutions that are strictly rational, your ability to face and resolve differences will be limited.

Why emotional awareness is a key factor in resolving conflict

Emotional awareness—the consciousness of your  moment-to-moment emotional experience—and the ability to manage all of your feelings appropriately, is the basis of a communication process that can resolve conflict.

Emotional awareness helps you to:

  • Understand what is really troubling other people
  • Understand yourself, including what is really troubling you
  • Stay motivated until the conflict is resolved
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Interest and influence others

Assessing your level of emotional awareness

The following quiz helps you assess your level of emotional awareness. Answer the following questions with:  almost never, occasionally, often, very often, or  almost always . There are no right or wrong responses, only the opportunity to become better acquainted with your emotional responses.

What kind of relationship do you have with your emotions?

  • Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
  • Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest?
  • Do you experience distinct feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy, which are evident in different facial expressions?
  • Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your own attention and that of others?
  • Do you pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision-making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be “turned” down or even off. In either case, you may need help developing your emotional awareness. You can do this by using Helpguide’s free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit.

When people are in the middle of a conflict, the words they use rarely convey the issues at the heart of the problem. But by paying close attention to the other person’s nonverbal signals or “body language,” such as facial expressions, posture, gestures, and tone of voice, you can better understand what the person is really saying. This will allow you to respond in a way that builds trust, and gets to the root of the problem.

[Read: Nonverbal Communication and Body Language]

Your ability to accurately read another person depends on your own emotional awareness. The more aware you are of your own emotions, the easier it will be for you to pick up on the wordless clues that reveal what others are feeling. Think about what you are transmitting to others during conflict, and if what you say matches your body language. If you say “I’m fine,” but you clench your teeth and look away, then your body is clearly signaling you are anything but “fine.” A calm tone of voice, a reassuring touch, or an interested facial expression can go a long way toward relaxing a tense exchange.

You can ensure that the process of managing and resolving conflict is as positive as possible by sticking to the following guidelines:

Listen for what is felt as well as said. When you really listen, you connect more deeply to your own needs and emotions, and to those of other people. Listening also strengthens, informs, and makes it easier for others to hear you when it’s your turn to speak.

Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or “being right.” Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and their viewpoint.

Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to grudges based on past conflicts, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here-and-now to solve the problem.

Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worth your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes, but if there are dozens of empty spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.

Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive others. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can serve only to deplete and drain your life.

Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

Using humor in conflict resolution

You can avoid many confrontations and resolve arguments and disagreements by communicating in a humorous way . Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without offending someone. However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy.

More Information

  • CR Kit - Covers causes of conflict, different conflict styles, and fair fighting guidelines to help you positively resolve disagreements. (Conflict Resolution Network)
  • 12 Skills Summary - A 12-step conflict resolution training kit. (Conflict Resolution Network)
  • Effective Communication - The art of listening in conflict resolution. (University of Maryland)
  • 10.3 Causes and Outcomes of Conflict – Organizational Behavior . (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2022, from Link
  • Başoğul, C., & Özgür, G. (2016). Role of Emotional Intelligence in Conflict Management Strategies of Nurses. Asian Nursing Research , 10(3), 228–233. Link
  • Corcoran, Kathleen O’Connell, and Brent Mallinckrodt. “Adult Attachment, Self-Efficacy, Perspective Taking, and Conflict Resolution.” Journal of Counseling & Development 78, no. 4 (2000): 473–83. Link
  • Yarnell, Lisa M., and Kristin D. Neff. “Self-Compassion, Interpersonal Conflict Resolutions, and Well-Being.” Self and Identity 12, no. 2 (March 1, 2013): 146–59. Link
  • Tucker, Corinna Jenkins, Susan M. Mchale, and Ann C. Crouter. “Conflict Resolution: Links with Adolescents’ Family Relationships and Individual Well-Being.” Journal of Family Issues 24, no. 6 (September 1, 2003): 715–36. Link

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13 Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving

Chapter 13 Check-in:

  • Identify Conflict Causes and Effects
  • Explore Conflict Approaches Solutions
  • Basic Problem Solving Strategy PDCA

Like all communication, good conflict management and resolution requires your time: listen, reflect, and consider all elements of a situation and the people involved.  It is not a simple process and there are some steps to help you navigate the process.  In the end, it is about the relationship.

Frequently considered a negative, conflict can actually be an opportunity for growth in relationship or work.  Your attitude towards the situation and person plays a role in any outcome.  Adam Grant, Professor of Psychology at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management, notes that “The absence of conflict is not harmony, it’s apathy.  If you are in a group where people never disagree, the only way that could ever really happen is if the people don’t care enough to speak their minds.” (Grant, February 2021).

However, it is easy to feel at a loss in an immediate conflict situation.  Here are some brief points to consider when faced with more than just a disagreement.

Conflict is emotional: it is much greater than a difference of opinions.  It is usually an expression of not being heard, seen, valued or respected.   It is based on a deeply person need and emotional response, based on perceptions which have identified a threat in any form.  If conflict is ignored, it can fester and result in such entrenched opinions and sides that resolution appears impossible (Segal et al, 2020).

The first step is to determine what the actual problem is as perceived by all parties.  The Conflict Tree analogy is especially useful if you respond well to visuals (O’Connor, 2020).  It is an excellent activity for a group or individual to clarify the effects (branches), core problems (trunk), and even causes of the issue (roots).

Once the actual problem is identified, you can move on to tackling a resolution together.

Approaches to Conflict

There are generally five styles for approaching conflict (Benoliel, 2017) and understanding what they are and what style you lean towards, identifies how you will move through the process.  These categories are determined by whether the focus is on the relationship or the end goal of a task/project.  While these may be more specific to workplace conflicts, they certainly identify personal conflict responses as well.

Collaboration is marked by a balanced focus on the relationship with others and meeting long-term objectives.  A Competition style is marked by individuals who are assertive and probably uncooperative who demonstrate that their priority is the outcome of the project more than the relationships.  Although few people enjoy conflict, the Avoidance style focuses on the the immediate unpleasantness and therefore avoids the issues.  This traditionally marks individuals who are unassertive and uncooperative largely because they assume it is safer to ignore than face an issue.  Sometimes there are individuals who will do anything to please others: this Accommodation approach results in self-sacrifice and is usually the route taken by those who care more about the relationship than the outcome.  Unfortunately, they are frequently taken advantage of in their efforts to please others.  Lastly, there are those who prefer the Compromise strategy. This may seem expedient in the attempt to resolve the problem by aiming for mutually acceptable terms and concessions, it does frequently leaves no one side satisfied even though it allows most to maintain an assertive and cooperative stance.

Strategies for Solutions

Sometimes those involved in conflict turn to an third person for assistance to resolve a conflict.  A mediator can listen to the perspectives of those in the dispute and focuses on helping each side hear the concerns and priorities of the other.  Working with the individuals in conflict, a mediator aims to help them create a solution acceptable to both sides.  Sometimes the third party is an Arbitrator whose role is to hear each side and provide a decision to resolve the dispute.  In some cases the conflict results in the even more formal process of a trial.

There are four key skills you need to approach conflict resolution with or without a third party involved (Segal et al, 2020; Fighting Fair, n.d.).

Conflict can be a very stressful experience and your Stress Management is an essential first step.  When we are stressed, we can’t think clearly, we can’t understand someone else’s thoughts or feelings, and it makes communication very difficult.  Use whatever method works best for you to manage your stress.

Once your stress is managed, it is easier to exert Control over your Emotions.  Recognize the emotions you are experiencing to assist in your processing the experience without having a purely emotional response.

With your stress and emotions recognized and managed, it makes it easier to recognize and pay attention to the feelings you and the other people express  and you can Identify Non-Verbal Communication.   Much is said without words and body language is a good indication of how the other person feels towards the situation.

Respect each other is standard for every communication situation and essential to remember if you are in a position of conflict.  Personal attacks, or drawing on personal knowledge, has no productive part in conflict resolution.

Many resources may explain the benefits of humour, but caution should be used.  Sometimes an emotional situation is not the best time for humour as you can unintentionally be seen to diminish the importance another person places on the experience.

Work together to identify the problem by taking the time to see it from multiple perspectives.  Be clear about the desired results and end goal.  Think about the relationships and long term impacts that any course of action may have on all parties.  It takes commitment to resolve a conflict.

Problem Solving

We covered Reflection and Feedback in Chapter 12 and these are essential steps for effective conflict resolution and problem solving. Even the Trial and Error process of problem solving relies on evaluating the success of an action before moving on to another attempt.

Many different approaches to problem solving exist though the basic core approach can be seen across geographic and language borders.  The PDCA approach – Plan, Do, Check, Act – provides the basic four steps process that can be expanded to suit any profession or experience (Plan, Do, Check, Act, 2021).

Problem solving starts with a clear identification of problem.  Then you need to clarify the desired end result.  The development of a plan can be as short or as long as necessary.  Once you have a plan, you have to implement it: Do.  Check is your opportunity to evaluate the success of your plan and make any amendments necessary.  Finally, Act: put your strategy into practice.  An important point to remember is that the reflection and evaluation should be an ongoing part of the solution you implement.

Chapter 13 Check-out:

  • Explore Conflict Approaches and Solutions

Remember your last conflict with another person.  How was it resolved?  How would you like it to have been resolved?  What could you have done to implement that change in result?

How do you usually approach problem solving?  How successful has it been for you? 

What, if anything, would you like to change about how you’ve problem solved in the past?

Resources and References

Benoliel, B. (2017). Five styles of conflict resolution.  Walden University.  [Online]  https://www.waldenu.edu/news-and-events/walden-news/2017/0530-whats-your-conflict-management-style

Fighting Fair to Resolve Conflict. (n.d.).  Counselling and Mental Health Centre. University of Texas at Austin. [Online] https://cmhc.utexas.edu/fightingfair.html

Goleman, D. (April 2012). Daniel Goleman Introduces Emotional Intelligence .  Big Think. [Online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7m9eNoB3NU

Grant, A., (February 2021). The Easiest Person to Fool .  The Hidden Brain. NPR Podcast. [Online] https://hidden-brain.simplecast.com/episodes/the-easiest-person-to-fool-f1hbMrGr

Grant, A., (April 2021). The Science of Productive Conflict . TED Podcast. [Online] https://www.ted.com/podcasts/worklife/the-science-of-productive-conflict-transcript

O’Connor, T., (October 2020). 3 Simple Conflict Analysis Tools That Anyone Can Use. [Online] https://medium.com/p/c30689757a0d

Plan Do Check Act: A Simple Problem Solving Methodology. (2021).  Educational-Business-Articles.com [Online] https://www.educational-business-articles.com/plan-do-check-act/

Segal, J., Robinson, L., and Smith, M. (2020). Conflict Resolution Skills. Helpguide.org. [Online] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/conflict-resolution-skills.htm

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Conflict Management Essay

Introduction, causes of conflict, change the culture and context of the conflict, listen actively and responsibly, acknowledge and integrate emotions to solve problems, search beneath the surface for hidden meaning, separate what matters from what gets in the way, stop rewarding and learn from difficult behavior, solve problems creatively, plan strategically, and negotiate collaboratively, explore resistance, mediate, and design systems for prevention.

Are you assigned to write an essay about conflict management, but don’t know where to start? Then, you are in the right place. Check out this sample on managing conflicts, its causes, and possible solutions.

Conflicts come as a result of disagreements. They are part of everyone’s life from childhood with parents, teenagers in school and usually carried on to the work place from home. The trends of business and organizational conflicts which are resulting into their breakdown and loss are an area that needs special attention to preserve and increase their profitability.

The solution to these problems is good management skills which can be implemented. This essay will discuss the conflicts between management and employees in organizations. It will include the eight strategies by Kenneth Cloke and Joan Smith in their book, “ Resolving Conflicts at work: Strategies for everyone on the job .”

The process involves, “organizational change, managing change, change implementation, multicultural, change resistance, readiness for change, coping with change, communication, involvement, middle management, case study, change factors, intercultural management and involving change agents” (Savolaien, 2011, p. 1).

The process of conflict management in organizations requires determination and participation of two parties, employees and the management.

In this essay leadership skills in management are emphasized to create efficiency. Poor communication within the work place where those employed are never involved or asked of their opinion is one source of conflict. This causes the employees not to rely on the employer but rather on the gossip.

Employees need a good working environment with adequate working equipment; with each employee’s work clearly defined. Failure of management to provide appropriate working conditions may lead to disagreement between the employees. The employees should also learn to understand each other, with respect while appreciating their work and personality.

This builds a strong team. If the leadership fails by being unfair or having poor values in an organization or business, this would be another source of conflict. To enhance harmony and team work the above factors must be put at the right place by the management (McNamara, n.d.).

National culture affects organizations. For an organization to grow it must keep on changing the old ways so as remain competitive. A problem in leadership management may be in form of failure of leaders to have adequate information on the business; thus lowering their competitiveness.

If employees complain of the problems in the working place without supervisors addressing the issue, the conflict continues to build pressure. The work and procedures of the business activities have an influence by values from the community (Cloke & Goldsmith 2005).

The cultures of societies are characterized by conflicts which come from various circles that shape our behaviors e.g. racism and economic conflicts (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005). The beliefs of the people are usually taken to the organization. This is what brings differences between different countries with the same type of business organizations.

From research, it became clear that culture has an influence on organizations implying that there will be a great difference between organizations established in different places.

Failure of supervisors to involve other employees in decision making may bring conflict. This however may be as a result of the culture of the local people. The supervisors who like the way operations are run and not willing to change can be a hindrance to solving any problem.

To change the culture and involve the employees, while insisting on open communication and flexibility is a good way forward in solving organizational conflicts. The organization should decide to change, by implementing the changing strategies of their conflict approach (Savvolaien, 2011).

Communication is vital in every organization. Employees can bring success of the business. Satisfaction of the employees motivates them to have a greater output. Management concern about them will help them to have confidence in what they do. Listening to the employees is one of the greatest virtues that a manager can do to promote higher output of the employee (Business, 2010).

Openness of employees to management would help the managers to always get first hand information in most cases whether good or bad. Being clear on expectations of employees on their work enables them to avoid any confusion. This helps employees to become more responsible. Guidance in their work builds confidence in their work and helps increase their efficiency (Business, 2010).

After listening to the employees, the manager should have in mind that the employees are meant to implement the plan for change. Appreciating information given by employees help them to respond positively to the strategy that is laid in place. The manager should design a strategy that helps the employees to fulfill their needs as they promote growth of business organization.

Visiting the employees at their working place is the starting place to promote openness. It is important that a manager should know how they feel about the work and what they wish the management could do for them.

A manager should be keen to evaluate performance of employees. It is recommended for managers to discuss with their employees regarding their goals and hear their views and how they feel about their progress. Furthermore, the employer should be empathetic to the employees and should be concerned of any problem with their employees (Business, 2010).

Conflicts cause people to act against their wishes. For example people may speak and act against what they think. This is because of thinking that there may be no solution to the problem encountered. “Conflict processes dark, hypnotic, destructive power: the power of attachment when it is time to leave…” (Cloke & Goldsmith 2005, p. 21).

This means that management should work from the grassroots to solve any problem and not just superficially. Knowing the root cause of the problem helps in effective planning as one realizes, “ If you listen closely, you will discover that beneath every insult and accusation lies a confession, and beneath every confession lies a request” (Cloke & Goldsmith 2005, p. 8).

This helps in building mutual trust and respect. This relationship can only be build by having effective communication between the employees and the management (Business, 2010).

The concern of management should focus on the future. Unnecessary questions on who was right or wrong should not come between the management and employees. This means the management should keep focus on the solution to the problem but not concentrating on non beneficial arguments (Perkins, 2010).

The action taken by management to solve a conflict between employees should always seek the best and just action. Managers should speak straight to the point; to the person who causes a conflict. Those who fail to do right after repeated counsel should be fired and leave the rest of the workers with peace.

Listening to employees gives direction to deal with the opponents, by stopping to reward them and learning from their difficult behaviors (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005). This means seeking for new strategies to deal with the opponents so as to stop rewarding them. Failure to plan and apply new strategies to solve problems makes the conflict to have deep roots in the organization as well as creating a bad culture (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005).

To manage conflicts in an organization, management should have clear values, vision, mission and objectives. Seeing opportunities to solve the problems; with a positive attitude assists in effective implementation. It requires a lot of effort to deal with an opposition.

The management should therefore work so as to reach a certain goal of an agreement or disagreement (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005). This means they should have a plan of talking to the employees as well as the necessary action to the opponent employee with fairness and justice.

Conflict management means dealing with the conflict till the end of it. If any resistance is seen in the process of solving a conflict it is a good opportunity to dismiss fears of employees. It is an indication of dissatisfaction; probably they were not included in the implementation or they were not involved in the process. If employees feel they had been undermined, they can bring resistance. Thus, communication remains paramount in the whole process of solving a problem (Nermin, 2011).

Business organizations will always encounter conflict from one time to another. Employees and management culture can be a hindrance to conflict management. Culture should therefore be considered in the planning of resolving any conflict. Managers should enhance transparency in their organizations and good leadership skills in conflict management. This would result in justice as well as the growth of business organization.

Business. (2010). How to actively listen to your employees . Web.

Cloke, K. & Goldsmith, J. (2005). Resolving conflicts at work: eight strategies for everyone on the job . New York, NY: John Wiley and sons.

McNamara, C. Basics of Conflict Management . Web.

Nermin, A. (2011). Enhance Your Leadership Skills- Build Trust & Resolve Conflict . Web.

Perkins, K. (2010). Proactive Steps to turn around workplace disputes . Web.

Savolaien, T. (2011). Challenges of Intercultural Management, Change Implementation in The Context of National Culture . Web.

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Conflict Management Action Plan

The prior CEO and leadership at JM&P Health Communications created a workplace environment that negatively impacted employees at all levels in the organization.

Analyze the situation and provide a response for the questions below.

Analyzing the situation

In this section, gather as much information as you can and highlight the factors that led to the conflict in the scenario, including potential gaps in communication.

  • Using the scenario, analyze the factors contributing to the conflict, including communication techniquesand the conflict management style used for determining how these factors contributed to the conflict. In analyzing the conflict factors, consider the following: What issues caused the conflict? Who were the contributors? What caused the conflict to escalate, and why? What are some examples of noncommunicative techniques and other factors that contributed to the negative environment in the scenario?
  • After analyzing the factors contributing to the conflict, analyze the scenario fo rpotential impactsrelated to corporate culture. Consider how communication techniques used or not used would have impacted employees and the overall workforce environment. Additionally, consider the emotional aspects the CEO and leadership demonstrated that contributed to the conflict. Provide examples to support your claims.

Examples of factors contributing to the conflict

  • Intrapersonal Conflict involves an internal conflict of individuals. Employees of JM&P Health Communications reported being frustrated by ineffective weekly meetings and the absence of alternative communication channels. Updates from management were not clear and timely enough because of the CEO’s reluctance to use modern communication techniques. Employees who worked remotely reported to feel disconnected from the company and lack of support. These factors caused intrapersonal conflict that decreased performance, job satisfaction, and employee retention.
  • Interpersonal Conflict. The company’s CEO, Victor Armstrong, avoided internal conflicts in terms of both HR and financial performance. The organizational structure was insufficient as both CFO and CIO belonged to his close-knit inner group and had prevented bad news reporting. CEO had a poor temper and was too conservative that constituted personality differences between him and others.
  • Communication Issues. The main contributor was inferior communication between high-rank executives and employees. Moreover, workers were deprived of saying their side of reality and discussing any fresh ideas.

Contributing communication techniques

  • Armstrong applied only avoiding conflict management style that is about sidestepping issues instead of addressing them. As a result, one-way communication was established, and employees suffered from it all the way to the merger.
  • Lack of empathetic communication and technology. The CEO punished his subordinates for lousy news and simultaneously discouraged any use of advanced communication technologies. Executives blamed employees for being lazy and drop in revenue. Instead of listening actively to them and their concerns, management deteriorated the conflict by pursuing sales goals and firing workers.

Potential impacts related to corporate culture

  • Employees feel being maltreated and disconnected, which lowers morale.
  • High level of continuous stress and anxiety in the workplace. It led to lower job satisfaction and productivity (Bauer and Erdogan 2015).
  • Low alignment with company’s goals that caused the high turnover and low firm’s financial performance.

Conflict Resolution

In this section, provide a resolution for the conflict presented in the scenario. Use examples from the scenario to support your ideas.

  • Begin by specifically stating the desired outcome of the conflict resolution.
  • Recommend specific action steps that should be taken for effectively managingthe conflict and achieving the desired outcome stated above. For each action step, be sure to indicate specifically how the step contributes to the conflict solution.
  • After recommending specific steps, describe a strategic communication approachfor employing recommended conflict resolution approaches. This should include appropriate communication platformsto relay the information to the intended audience, including virtual employees. The communication approach should also outline strategies for preventing future conflict.

State the desired outcome of the conflict resolution

Increased job satisfaction, employee retention, and JM&P Health Communications’ performance due to successful transformation and merger with Results Health Communications.

Provide steps for effectively managing the conflict presented

  • The composition of the top-ranking executives should be changed. According to Raines (2013), inferior HR management is the primary reason workers leave their jobs. The CEO and two other high-ranked executives should be replaced by modern leaders who would build more empathetic relationships with their subordinates.
  • The employees’ connection to the organization’s mission should be fostered. Staffers perform better if their values are aligned to the firm’s ones, and their efforts are appreciated (Raines 2013). In this case, line managers can be used as mediators who enhance top-down communication and take care of employees’ workplace issues. Instead of blaming them for not meeting high sales goals, professionals should be adequately supported by managers. Their performance should be reasonably assessed, applying modern appraisal methods such as Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS).
  • Teamwork should be embedded within a new corporate culture. The new CEO must encourage transparent and honest reporting of his/her subordinates during meetings instead of avoiding bad news. The new culture would encourage giving and receiving feedback, which raises the level of engagement. Virtual meetings would be concluded regularly, while access to metrics of employees’ performance would increase their self-evaluation and engagement (Bailey 2013). New communication platforms and team-building exercises may assist in building a friendly and less stressful environment.

What strategic communication approach can be taken to resolve the conflict?

Cultural communication approach can be used to resolve this kind of conflict. This method aims to change and maintain a healthy organizational culture, which allegedly impacts the firm’s long-run success. The workplace environment of JM&P Health Communications requires a closer relationship between employees and managers to address the main issue. This approach also motivates people to embrace transformation, share their suggestions/ideas, and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.

What communication platforms could be used to communicate with the audience, including virtual employees?

  • Email. Employees demanded better technologies to improve working conditions and their performance. Email communication may help to spread essential pieces of information among all workers promptly.
  • Messengers. Team members who work on the same assignment may join the group created in messenger that enables instant textual and voice conversation, exchange of photos, and documents.
  • Video Conferencing. Such communication tools as Slack and Zoom allow managers to host virtual meetings with remote employees and, with its help, enhance their dedication.

Communication Strategies and Recommendations

In this section, discuss changes for the company as a whole to better communicate and manage conflict. You may use examples from the scenario or from other resources.

  • Suggest changes that the company should make moving forwardto communicate more effectively, and provide examples to support your claims. Discuss approaches to using appropriate communication strategiesfor conflict prevention, and provide examples to support your claims.
  • Identify best practices,including communication approaches for managers and leaders to consider in negotiating and managing conflict. Describe how managers should apply the identified best practices in conflict resolution approaches, and provide examples to support your claims. Describe how the identified best practices can be applied to global and virtual teamsfor maximizing communication efficiency.
  • Discuss approaches to bridge generational gaps in order to facilitate a communicative and positive environment, and provide examples to support your claims.

Provide three suggested changes for the company to communicate more effectively moving forward

  • Establishment and maintenance of the organization’s culture that encourages transparency. Employees and managers would not be scared to report failures and, in response, would receive support and assistance.
  • Incorporation of advanced communication technologies, which improve internal information circulation. Such platforms as email and messengers should be helpful in this particular situation.
  • Replacement of inefficient management approach incorporating modern leadership style. For instance, a new CEO would apply a collaborative approach to management instead of avoiding conflicts.

Appropriate communication strategies for leadership for conflict prevention

  • Every issue (conflict) must be addressed by leaders who see it not as a threat but rather as an opportunity (Berger 2017). For instance, Armstrong failed to maintain the company because he allowed the further escalation of the internal conflicts by avoiding severe problems.
  • The leadership should ask employees for frequent and honest feedback to establish a transparent culture. It usually helps to enhance collaboration and trust within the company that decreases the possibility of future conflict.
  • If it is possible, issues leading to conflicts must be resolved in face-to-face meetings.
  • Good leaders should be able to listen actively to the management and their employees.

Best practices for negotiating and managing conflict

  • The leader should provide managers with conflict resolution training.
  • CEO has to model appropriate behavior that helps to establish a dialogue.
  • HR managers and higher rank executives should regularly interact with personnel providing them with space for feedback.
  • Open door policy has to be maintained to sustain a culture of trust.

Conflict resolution approaches

  • Avoiding is a strategy of ignoring the minor conflict that may be useful in the short-term and in the situation when the possible resolution is painful. The CEO’s mistake was that he used only this approach in every possible case.
  • Competing is about conflict planning that has one side winning at the expense of others. However, it is appropriate in situations when an organization needs quick action, and there is no hope for consensus (Bauer and Erdogan 2015).
  • Collaborating is an approach of co-creation of a shared solution that comes from both cooperative and assertive sides.
  • In terms of compromising, participants are partially cooperative and assertive, and the final decision is allegedly fair.

How can these best practices be applied to global and virtual teams for maximizing communication efficiency?

To maintain communication efficiency in global and virtual teams, leaders can apply the same best practices. Communication platforms like Zoom are helpful in the case of virtual teams. It enables face-to-face contacts between managers and remote workers and reviewing of communication strategies. Moreover, messengers would help to define clear team roles and task accountabilities. Performance should be monitored by applying specific metrics to which employees have access. The global teams consist of representatives of different nations and cultures; thus, business leaders should be ready to avoid or address intercultural conflicts. In order to do that, adequately trained managers should keep regular contact with such remote team members to arm them with self-awareness techniques to resolve cross-cultural disputes. In the case of both global and virtual teams, the platforms help to establish a regular and active channel of information exchange, which enhances employees’ alignment, cooperation, and loyalty.

Provide two approaches and examples to bridge generational gaps in order to facilitate a communicative and positive environment.

  • The two-way mentorship programs create a fair and balanced platform that allows representatives of different generations to learn something new and increases cooperation. For instance, Millennials can teach elders how to use advanced technologies, while Baby Boomers show how to behave in face-to-face interactions.
  • Differences between generations should be identified and addressed by establishing teams with even numbers of different age groups. It would facilitate collaboration between them that is hardly seen when Millennials and Baby Boomers work in smaller and separate groups (Keegan 2011, 223).Appropriate team-building and instructional exercises may bring advantages to workplaces where different age groups interact.

Bailey, Sebastian. 2013. “ How to Beat the Five Killers of Virtual Working ”. Forbes . Web.

Bauer, Talya and Berrin Erdogan. 2015. Organizational Behavior . Boston: FlatWorld.

Berger, Laura. 2017. “ Five Conflict Management Strategies ”. Forbes . Web.

Keegan, Kerry. 2011. “X, Y and Z Are Call Numbers, Not Co-Workers: Communicating Through Generational Differences.” Feliciter 57 (6): 222-224.

Raines, Susan S. 2013. Conflict Management for Managers: Resolving Workplace, Client, and Policy Disputes . Somerset: John Wiley & Sons.

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5 Strategies for Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

Business leader resolving workplace conflict

  • 07 Sep 2023

Any scenario in which you live, work, and collaborate with others is susceptible to conflict. Because workplaces are made up of employees with different backgrounds, personalities, opinions, and daily lives, discord is bound to occur. To navigate it, it’s crucial to understand why it arises and your options for resolving it.

Common reasons for workplace conflict include:

  • Misunderstandings or poor communication skills
  • Differing opinions, viewpoints, or personalities
  • Biases or stereotypes
  • Variations in learning or processing styles
  • Perceptions of unfairness

Although conflict is common, many don’t feel comfortable handling it—especially with colleagues. As a business leader, you’ll likely clash with other managers and need to help your team work through disputes.

Here’s why conflict resolution is important and five strategies for approaching it.

Access your free e-book today.

Why Is Addressing Workplace Conflict Important?

Pretending conflict doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. Ignoring issues can lead to missed deadlines, festering resentment, and unsuccessful initiatives.

Yet, according to coaching and training firm Bravely , 53 percent of employees handle “toxic” situations by avoiding them. Worse still, averting a difficult conversation can cost an organization $7,500 and more than seven workdays.

That adds up quickly: American businesses lose $359 billion yearly due to the impact of unresolved conflict.

As a leader, you have a responsibility to foster healthy conflict resolution and create a safe, productive work environment for employees.

“Some rights, such as the right to safe working conditions or the right against sexual harassment, are fundamental to the employment relationship,” says Harvard Business School Professor Nien-hê Hsieh in the course Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability . “These rights are things that employees should be entitled to no matter what. They’re often written into the law, but even when they aren’t, they’re central to the ethical treatment of others, which involves respecting the inherent dignity and intrinsic worth of each individual.”

Effectively resolving disputes as they arise benefits your employees’ well-being and your company’s financial health. The first step is learning about five conflict resolution strategies at your disposal.

Related: How to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Employees

While there are several approaches to conflict, some can be more effective than others. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Model —developed by Dr. Kenneth W. Thomas and Dr. Ralph H. Kilmann—outlines five strategies for conflict resolution:

  • Accommodating
  • Compromising
  • Collaborating

These fall on a graph, with assertiveness on the y-axis and cooperativeness on the x-axis. In the Thomas-Kilmann model, “assertiveness” refers to the extent to which you try to reach your own goal, and “cooperativeness” is the extent to which you try to satisfy the other party’s goal.

Alternatively, you can think of these axis labels as the “importance of my goal” and the “importance of this relationship.” If your assertiveness is high, you aim to achieve your own goal. If your cooperativeness is high, you strive to help the other person reach theirs to maintain the relationship.

Here’s a breakdown of the five strategies and when to use each.

1. Avoiding

Avoiding is a strategy best suited for situations in which the relationship’s importance and goal are both low.

While you’re unlikely to encounter these scenarios at work, they may occur in daily life. For instance, imagine you’re on a public bus and the passenger next to you is loudly playing music. You’ll likely never bump into that person again, and your goal of a pleasant bus ride isn’t extremely pressing. Avoiding conflict by ignoring the music is a valid option.

In workplace conflicts—where your goals are typically important and you care about maintaining a lasting relationship with colleagues—avoidance can be detrimental.

Remember: Some situations require avoiding conflict, but you’re unlikely to encounter them in the workplace.

2. Competing

Competing is another strategy that, while not often suited for workplace conflict, can be useful in some situations.

This conflict style is for scenarios in which you place high importance on your goal and low importance on your relationships with others. It’s high in assertiveness and low in cooperation.

You may choose a competing style in a crisis. For instance, if someone is unconscious and people are arguing about what to do, asserting yourself and taking charge can help the person get medical attention quicker.

You can also use it when standing up for yourself and in instances where you feel unsafe. In those cases, asserting yourself and reaching safety is more critical than your relationships with others.

When using a competing style in situations where your relationships do matter (for instance, with a colleague), you risk impeding trust—along with collaboration, creativity, and productivity.

3. Accommodating

The third conflict resolution strategy is accommodation, in which you acquiesce to the other party’s needs. Use accommodating in instances where the relationship matters more than your goal.

For example, if you pitch an idea for a future project in a meeting, and one of your colleagues says they believe it will have a negative impact, you could resolve the conflict by rescinding your original thought.

This is useful if the other person is angry or hostile or you don’t have a strong opinion on the matter. It immediately deescalates conflict by removing your goal from the equation.

While accommodation has its place within organizational settings, question whether you use it to avoid conflict. If someone disagrees with you, simply acquiescing can snuff out opportunities for innovation and creative problem-solving .

As a leader, notice whether your employees frequently fall back on accommodation. If the setting is safe, encouraging healthy debate can lead to greater collaboration.

Related: How to Create a Culture of Ethics and Accountability in the Workplace

4. Compromising

Compromising is a conflict resolution strategy in which you and the other party willingly forfeit some of your needs to reach an agreement. It’s known as a “lose-lose” strategy, since neither of you achieve your full goal.

This strategy works well when your care for your goal and the relationship are both moderate. You value the relationship, but not so much that you abandon your goal, like in accommodation.

For example, maybe you and a peer express interest in leading an upcoming project. You could compromise by co-leading it or deciding one of you leads this one and the other the next one.

Compromising requires big-picture thinking and swallowing your pride, knowing you won’t get all your needs fulfilled. The benefits are that you and the other party value your relationship and make sacrifices to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.

5. Collaborating

Where compromise is a lose-lose strategy, collaboration is a win-win. In instances of collaboration, your goal and the relationship are equally important, motivating both you and the other party to work together to find an outcome that meets all needs.

An example of a situation where collaboration is necessary is if one of your employees isn’t performing well in their role—to the point that they’re negatively impacting the business. While maintaining a strong, positive relationship is important, so is finding a solution to their poor performance. Framing the conflict as a collaboration can open doors to help each other discover its cause and what you can do to improve performance and the business’s health.

Collaboration is ideal for most workplace conflicts. Goals are important, but so is maintaining positive relationships with co-workers. Promote collaboration whenever possible to find creative solutions to problems . If you can’t generate a win-win idea, you can always fall back on compromise.

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Considering Your Responsibilities as a Leader

As a leader, not only must you address your own conflicts but help your employees work through theirs. When doing so, remember your responsibilities to your employees—whether ethical, legal, or economic.

Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability groups your ethical responsibilities to employees into five categories:

  • Well-being: What’s ultimately good for the person
  • Rights: Entitlement to receive certain treatment
  • Duties: A moral obligation to behave in a specific way
  • Best practices: Aspirational standards not required by law or cultural norms
  • Fairness: Impartial and just treatment

In the course, Hsieh outlines three types of fairness you can use when helping employees solve conflicts:

  • Legitimate expectations: Employees reasonably expect certain practices or behaviors to continue based on experiences with the organization and explicit promises.
  • Procedural fairness: Managers must resolve issues impartially and consistently.
  • Distributive fairness: Your company equitably allocates opportunities, benefits, and burdens.

Particularly with procedural fairness, ensure you don’t take sides when mediating conflict. Treat both parties equally, allowing them time to speak and share their perspectives. Guide your team toward collaboration or compromise, and work toward a solution that achieves the goal while maintaining—and even strengthening—relationships.

Are you interested in learning how to navigate difficult decisions as a leader? Explore Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Accountability —one of our online leadership and management courses —and download our free guide to becoming a more effective leader.

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Team-Building Strategies: Building a Winning Team for Your Organization

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5 Conflict Resolution Strategies

Use these proven conflict resolution strategies in your conflict management efforts..

By Katie Shonk — on January 11th, 2024 / Conflict Resolution

conflict resolution plan essay

Whether a conflict erupts at work or at home, we frequently fall back on the tendency to try to correct the other person or group’s perceptions, lecturing them about why we’re right—and they’re wrong. Deep down, we know that this conflict resolution approach usually fails to resolve the conflict and often only makes it worse.

Here are 5 conflict resolution strategies that are more effective, drawn from research on negotiation and conflicts, to try out the next time you’re tempted to argue your point.

The New Conflict Management

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In our FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School - The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation – renowned negotiation experts uncover unconventional approaches to conflict management that can turn adversaries into partners.

  • Conflict resolution strategy #1: Recognize that all of us have biased fairness perceptions. Both parties to a conflict typically think they’re right (and the other side is wrong) because they quite literally can’t get out of our own heads. Our sense of what would constitute a fair conflict resolution is biased by egocentrism , or the tendency to have difficulty seeing a situation from another person’s perspective, research by Carnegie Mellon University professors Linda Babcock and George Loewenstein and their colleagues’ shows. When embroiled in a conflict, we need to try to overcome our self-centered fairness perceptions. We might do this by jointly hiring a mediator who can help us see one another’s point of view, or by enlisting another type of unbiased expert, such as an appraiser, to offer their view of the “facts.”
  • Conflict resolution strategy #2: Avoid escalating tensions with threats and provocative moves. When we feel we’re being ignored or steamrolled, we often try to capture the other party’s attention by making a threat, such as saying we’ll take a dispute to court or try to ruin the other party’s business reputation. There’s a time and place for litigation, but threats and other attention-getting moves, such as take-it-or-leave-it offers, are often a mistake. Because of the common human tendency to treat others the way they’re treated, people tend to respond to threats in kind, leading to an escalatory spiral and worsening conflict. Before making a threat, be sure you have exhausted all other options for managing conflict .
  • Conflict resolution strategy #3: Overcome an “us versus them” mentality. Group connections build loyalty and strong relationships, but they can also promote suspicion and hostility toward members of out-groups. As a result, groups in conflict tend to have an inaccurate understanding of each other’s views and to see the other’s positions as more extreme than they actually are. Whether dealing with conflict as a group or on your own, you can overcome the tendency to demonize the other side by looking for an identity or goal you share. Begin your conflict management efforts by highlighting your common goal of reaching a fair and sustainable agreement. Try to identify and discuss points of similarity between you, such as growing up in the same region. The more points of connection you can identify, the more collaborative and productive your conflict resolution process is likely to be.
  • Conflict resolution strategy #4: Look beneath the surface to identify deeper issues. Our deepest disputes often seem to involve money: labor disputes over employee wages, family conflicts over assets, for example. Because money is a finite resource, these conflicts tend to be single-issue battles in which one party’s gain will inevitably be the other party’s loss. But disputes over money often involve much deeper causes of conflict , such as the feeling that one is being disrespected or overlooked. The next time you find yourself arguing over the division of funds, suggest putting that conversation on hold. Then take time to explore each other’s deeper concerns. Listen closely to one another’s grievances, and try to come up with creative ways to address them. This conflict management strategy is likely to strengthen the relationship and add new interests to the table, expanding the pie of value to be divided in the process.
  • Conflict resolution strategy #5: Separate sacred from pseudo-sacred issues. Conflict management can be particularly intractable when core values that negotiators believe are sacred, or nonnegotiable, are involved, such as their family bonds, religious beliefs, political views, or personal moral code. Take the case of two siblings who disagree about whether to sell their deceased parents’ farm, with one of them insisting the land must remain in the family and the other arguing that the parents would want them to sell it. We tend to err on the side of not negotiating when sacred principles and values are at stake, writes Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin in his book Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight. But many of the issues negotiators consider sacred are actually pseudo-sacred , notes Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman—that is, the issues are only off-limits under certain conditions. So it’s important to thoroughly analyze the benefits you might expect from a negotiation that could allow you to honor your principles. For example, the sibling’s objections to selling the family land might soften if a percentage of the proceeds are donated to the parents’ favorite charity.

How do you deal with conflict? Do you use any of these strategies?

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No Responses to “5 Conflict Resolution Strategies”

6 responses to “5 conflict resolution strategies”.

Useful tips. I really like 1 and 3, finding similarities really help to build a stronger relationship between two people.

Great advice! I especially like 1 and 3 above for their simplicity and broad applicability to different types of disputes.

Conflict resolution is quickly becoming a passionate subject for me. Nice article.

Conflict is just as literal as it is named. Thanks for this great article!

Great points. Love reading and learning this content

The power of listening the other party can make negotiating easy and gave trust to deal with,interest of every one should be clerarly defined about the goal and the issue of negotiation.

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30 Conflict Resolution Examples

conflict resolution examples and definition, explained below

Conflict resolution refers to the process of bringing a conflict to an end in a fair, equitable, or mutually agreeable way. It’s central in a range of jobs, including social work, counselling, and diplomacy.

There are a range of frameworks, skills, and strategies that can be used to resolve conflict resolution, which I’ll explain below.

In order to demonstrate your conflict resolution skills, it’s useful to use the STAR framework. This framework is especially useful if you’re looking for ways to demonstrate your conflict resolution skills in a job interview. I’ve provided this framework at the end of this piece.

Conflict Resolution Examples

Strategies for resolving conflicts.

Let’s start with come common strategies, before looking at some specific skills for you to develop:

1. Active Listening In this approach, you focus on listening to the other person’s thoughts and feelings. You reflect these sentiments back to ensure understanding. This shows your respect for them and their viewpoint, and it encourages them to do the same for you.

2. Negotiation This is a classic use of the process to find a mutually acceptable solution. Both parties put forward their preferred outcomes, and they work together to find a middle ground that satisfies both. When agreements are built together, they are more likely to be respected.

3. Mediation When two parties fail to find a solution on their own, a neutral third party called a mediator might help. Their role is to facilitate open and efficient communication, helping each person gain a fresh perspective on the dispute.

4. Problem Solving Here, you aim to address an issue head on. You first identify the problem, then brainstorm solutions, and finally choose the best one. It’s an analytical approach where the stress lies not on fighting, but on working together to reach a beneficial result.

5. Strength-Based Approach In this strategy, you emphasize the positive qualities and potential of the people involved. This helps them to work from a position of strength, not weakness, and makes the resolution process a more wholesome experience.

6. Interest-Based Relational Approach This approach places relationships first, focusing on protecting them while still solving the dispute. When both the parties focus on each other’s needs rather than winning the argument, the conflict’s detrimental effects on their relationship can be minimized.

7. Team Building This is an indirect conflict resolution approach that aims to cultivate strong bonds between team members. This can reduce the likelihood of conflicts appearing, as team members become more understanding and patient with each other due to their emotional connection. However, this method requires consistent effort and time.

8. Facilitation This technique involves a neutral person handling the discussion process between people in a dispute. They ensure everyone has a chance to air their grievances, keeps the conversation respectful and inclusive, and guides the group towards a consensus.

9. Arbitration Similar to mediation, arbitration involves a third-party arbitrator. The main difference, however, is the arbitrator makes a decision after hearing all sides of the argument. This decision is usually binding and is often used in legal settings or labor disputes.

10. Avoidance Though this may not seem like a resolution, sometimes avoiding a conflict is a strategic move. This passive approach is best suited when the issue at hand is trivial, or more harm than good would come from addressing it.

11. Smoothing/Tamping This strategy involves minimizing the importance of the conflict in order to preserve relationships and team unity. By downplaying the disagreement and emphasizing common interests, the intensity of the conflict can be reduced.

12. Collaborative Solution This strategy requires both parties to work together closely to devise a solution. It is the more creative approach as it doesn’t involve just picking an existing option, but instead, the two parties build an entirely new one together.

13. Accommodating This is a passive approach where one party agrees to concede to the other. That person yields to the others’ demands for the sake of keeping peace. This approach is mainly used when one party values the relationship more than winning the argument.

14. Competing This strategy involves a head-on approach to the conflict, in which one party attempts to win over the other through force. It’s a win-lose scenario and is mainly utilized when one party feels they have a non-negotiable position.

15. Compromise In this approach, each party agrees to give up something in order to reach a resolution. While this may not lead to a completely satisfying outcome for either side, it does provide a quick solution that can help maintain the overall stability of the relationship or organization.

Conflict Resolution Skills

The above strategies require people with a range of valuable soft skills for resolving conflicts, including the following 15:

16. Respecting Diversity: Conflicts often arise from differences in backgrounds, cultures, or perspectives. Respecting diversity and viewing it as a strength rather than an obstacle can promote mutual understanding and resolution.

17. Communication Skills : As the bedrock of conflict resolution, effective communication involves expressing yourself clearly and listening actively. It also involves interpreting body language and non-verbal cues, which are often conduits of emotional states.

18. Empathy : This skill allows you to see the situation from the other person’s perspective. Understanding their feelings and point of view can foster a sympathetic approach to conflict resolution.

19. Patience : Conflict resolution is often a time-consuming process. It requires patience to listen to others and understand their viewpoints and even more to negotiate a satisfactory agreement.

20. Emotional Intelligence : This entails the ability to manage your emotions and understand those of others. Emotional intelligence can help prevent emotional responses from determining the outcome of conflicts.

21. Decision-Making Abilities: At times, conflict resolution implies making hard choices. Robust decision-making skills help in reaching solutions more efficiently, ensuring all parties’ needs are duly considered.

22. Flexibility: This involves being open to new ideas or ways of thinking. It enables you to adjust your perspective or compromise on certain issues to reach a resolution.

23. Problem-Solving Abilities: This encompasses generating solutions, assessing their potential impact, and implementing the most effective one. It ensures the resolution of the conflict and prevents future similar conflicts from arising.

24. Assertiveness : This skill represents your ability to speak up for your rights while respecting the rights of others. Assertiveness doesn’t mean aggressiveness; rather, it’s about expressing your needs clearly and directly.

25. Active Listening: By really hearing what the other party is saying, you can better understand their perspective. You aren’t merely listening to respond, but to gain a deeper understanding.

26. Resilience : The ability to bounce back from difficult situations and not let conflict deter you from achieving your goals . With resilience, setbacks become stepping stones to success.

27. Creativity : Effective conflict resolution can sometimes require thinking outside the box to find a solution that satisfies all parties involved. This creativity might involve developing unconventional strategies or solutions.

28. Self-Control : Being able to maintain your cool under stress is essential in conflict resolution. The ability to handle your emotions and keep them in check can prevent unnecessary escalation of conflicts.

29. Facilitation Skills: These skills can help guide the conversation toward constructive outcomes. They include ensuring everyone’s views are heard, mediating disputes, and leading the group to a consensus.

30. Adaptability: Conflict can often be volatile and unpredictable. Being able to adapt to new facts, different viewpoints, or shifts in the power dynamic is essential to successfully navigate conflict and find resolution.

Common Frameworks for Conflict Resolution

Common frameworks include:

1. Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) TKI is a tool that measures a person’s behavior in conflict situations. It categorizes an individual’s responses into five different styles: Competing, Avoiding, Accommodating, Collaborating, and Compromising (Schaubhut, 2007; Brown, 2012). The aim of the TKI model is to help individuals understand how their behavior in conflict situations affects others and to find more effective conflict resolution strategies (Riasi & Asadzadeh, 2015).

2. Fisher and Ury’s Interest-Based Relational (IBR) Model This model, introduced in the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In suggests that conflicts should not focus on individuals, but rather on the issue at hand. It is based on methods of negotiation that focus on fairness, seeking mutual benefit, and maintaining relationships (Fisher, Ury & Patton, 2011). The steps in this approach include separating the people from the problem, focusing on interests not positions, inventing options for mutual gain, and insisting on objective criteria.

3. Conflict Resolution Framework by the Harvard Negotiation Project Also developed by Fisher and Ury, this framework extends upon the IBR model by incorporating elements such as “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” (BATNA) and “zone of possible agreement” (ZOPA). It encourages parties to establish their BATNA before negotiations begin, providing a fallback plan and establishing a guideline for acceptable agreements. For more on this project, visit its website .

4. Circle Process This is a powerful conflict resolution model predominantly used in Restorative Justice proceedings (Bohmert, Duwe & Hipple, 2018). It involves creating safe spaces where all participants can share their perspectives and feelings about a conflict, facilitating a communal understanding. It intensely targets communication, respect, and mutual understanding.

5. Bush and Folger’s Transformative Mediation In this model, empowerment and recognition are central to resolving conflicts (Folger & Bush, 2014). It supports parties in conflict to change their views of themselves and others, transforming the very nature of their relationship. The mediator works to foster constructive communication and mutual recognition, leading not just to settlement but also personal growth and social transformation.

These frameworks offer various approaches, each with their own strengths depending on the specific nature and context of the conflict.

How to Answer “Describe your Conflict Resolution Skills” in an Interview

The STAR framework is a method for answering interview questions in a structured, coherent manner. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

1. Situation: Begin by describing a specific conflict situation that you dealt with at your previous job. Providers the details necessary for the interviewer to understand the context, such as the type of conflict, the people involved, and the severity or potential impacts of the conflict without breaking any confidentiality rules.

Situation Example: Let’s say I was working as a project manager on a major software development project. Two of my team members had a disagreement on the approach to a complex coding issue. The conflict had begun to delay our progress and other team members were starting to take sides, creating a divide within the team.

2. Task: Clear explanation of your role or responsibility in the conflict is required in this step. Mention whether you were directly involved in the conflict or you intervened as a third party.

Task Example: My role was not only to manage the project timeline, but also to ensure we maintained a collaborative and productive work environment. Therefore, it was my responsibility to resolve the conflict between the two team members in a way that would not only help the project to move forward but also heal the team dynamics.

3. Action: Here, elaborate on the specific steps you took to resolve the conflict. Discuss your implementation of conflict resolution skills, any methodologies or strategies used, and how you approached the issue to find a resolution. Make sure to emphasize actions that typify a conflict-resolving personality, like patience, active listening, and open communication.

Action Example: I organized a meeting with the two concerned team members. I let each of them articulate their viewpoint on the coding issue, ensuring they felt heard, while reiterating the importance of respectful communication. Then, with their input, we developed a list of pros and cons for each approach. I facilitated the discussion focusing on the shared goal of the team , which was to create an effective and reliable software solution.

4. Result: At the close, express what the outcome of your actions was. It’s important to highlight how your intervention led to a beneficial solution for individuals and the organization as a whole. Describe any positive changes in behavior or performance following the conflict resolution, or any feedback that you received from your supervisors or colleagues about your handling of the situation.

Result Example: As a result of the meeting, we agreed to combine elements from both approaches, which, upon review, actually enhanced the functionality of the program. This solution not only fixed the immediate issue, but the two team members also reported feeling more united. Their mutual respect was evident in subsequent collaborations. We successfully completed the project on time, and our supervisor complimented me on handling such an intense situation with acumen.

Remember, the STAR framework is all about painting a clear, concise, and coherent picture of your conflict resolution skills by drawing on specific past experiences.

Conflict resolution is required for a range of jobs, from customer support to leadership roles within large organizations. By developing you soft skills and building-up experiences with resolving difficult situations, you can enter a job interview ready to answer any question about how to resolve conflicts. Practice your STAR method story before your interview, and best of luck!

Bohmert, M. N., Duwe, G., & Hipple, N. K. (2018). Evaluating restorative justice circles of support and accountability: Can social support overcome structural barriers?.  International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology ,  62 (3), 739-758. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X16652627

Brown, J. G. (2012). Empowering students to create and claim value through the Thomas–Kilmann conflict mode instrument.  Negotiation Journal ,  28 (1), 79-91. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1571-9979.2011.00327.x

Fisher, R., Ury, W. L., & Patton, B. (2011).  Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in . New York: Penguin.

Folger, J., & Bush, R. A. B. (2014). Transformative mediation.  International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution ,  2 (1), 20-34.

Riasi, A., & Asadzadeh, N. (2015). The relationship between principals’ reward power and their conflict management styles based on Thomas–Kilmann conflict mode instrument.  Management Science Letters ,  5 (6), 611-618.

Schaubhut, N. A. (2007). Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument.  CPP Research Department .


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Preventing and Managing Team Conflict

When colleagues in the workplace disagree, it can affect morale and productivity. Fortunately, a few smart conflict resolution strategies can help boost collaboration at work.

Pamela Reynolds

When a group of people work together, it’s inevitable that, sooner or later, there’s going to be disagreement over how things get done. But conflicts among team members must not always lead to low morale, plunging productivity, or bitter feelings.

A skillful manager with good conflict resolution skills can successfully resolve tense workplace situations in a way that leaves all team members feeling heard, respected, and motivated to continue doing their best. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss exactly how leaders can do this — by identifying sources of conflict, developing strategies for resolving conflict, and working to prevent conflict from arising in the first place. Even in the post-COVID era in which employees often work from distant locales, there is a way that managers can ensure that all employees thrive and succeed on the job.  

Why Do Workplace Conflicts Happen?  

Amir takes pride in his work and sees Maria’s need for daily reports as “micro-managing.” Mary believes Mark’s frequent offhand comments to be racist and sexist. Luis and Dianne disagree vehemently about which approach to take on a project. Priyanka works in marketing but doesn’t get along with Kevin in accounting, who does his job with different objectives in mind. 

If you’ve worked in any organization, these types of conflicts are the stuff of everyday life.

They arise when there are clashes of interests, desires, opinions, and beliefs. They can often be grouped into four broad categories:

  • An employee believes he or she may have been discriminated against or harassed by another.
  • Employees (or even departments) communicate poorly, resulting in inefficiencies and mistakes.
  • Employees who work together have vastly different personalities and working styles.
  • Employees in different divisions have opposing objectives and values.

When conflicts occur, it’s important to address them right away. If problems are left to fester, they can damage team bonds, sometimes irretrievably.

On the other hand, when managers confront issues quickly and directly, they can build a positive work culture in which all employees feel appreciated. That, in turn, can lead to better productivity, more innovation, and may even make it easier to recruit new employees who have heard about an organization’s stellar work culture.

What Conflict Resolution Skills Should a Manager Have?

One of the most important skills for any manager is the ability to communicate. Without that basic skill, almost nothing else matters. Good communication starts with good listening skills. By taking time to hear what employees have to say, leaders can better understand what the problem truly is and how it can be fixed.

Aside from good communication, managers should be curious. They need a high degree of emotional intelligence in which they are able to empathize and understand a team member’s point of view.

This emotional IQ should extend to treating people with integrity and respect, being patient, and not rushing to judgment, asking thoughtful questions, and staying calm when under pressure. The best leaders are also good problem-solvers who don’t take sides but look to find solutions that work for everyone. 

What are the Top Conflict Resolution Strategies a Manager Can Use to Resolve Issues on a Team?

We all know there will be disputes and disagreements any time a group of humans come together to achieve a goal. When it happens, it’s important for a leader to know how to deal with it.

Management experts outline these key steps managers can take to resolve team conflict:  

  • Keep communication open and clear. Start by inviting colleagues to a face-to-face meeting in which differences can be aired. Choose a neutral impartial location like the work cafeteria or a walk outside. 
  • Listen . Talk with everyone on all sides. Be empathetic to what colleagues might be feeling. As you listen, pay attention to areas where there are commonalities in goals, interests, and strategies, as well as misalignments that might be used in a resolution that serves everyone’s interests. 
  • Focus on the problem, not the individuals . Acknowledge that there is a problem and be patient in taking time to understand every dimension of what is occuring.
  • Identify points of agreement and disagreement. Consider what a team member’s interests may be, and where there are points of alignment . 
  • Develop a plan. In drawing up a plan to help resolve an issue, establish guidelines and prioritize actions and goals. 
  • Act decisively and follow through . Once you are able to identify a potential resolution, don’t procrastinate but act on it. 

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How Can Conflict be Avoided?

While there’s no way to completely avoid disagreements at work, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of conflict.

  • Focus on clear communication . It’s imperative that everyone involved speak to each other openly, clearly, and constructively.
  • Approach emails with caution. Because electronic communications lack the context of tone and body language, they can be dangerous if they are the primary way in which problems are addressed. It’s best to meet in person when there is a disagreement. Even when everyone is on the same page, it’s still always helpful to keep your emails human and welcoming.
  • Create a positive workplace culture . Foster an office culture of civility . Employees should feel safe about voicing their concerns about how work is being conducted without fearing retribution. 

How Can You Manage Conflict in Remote/Hybrid Environments? 

Dealing with conflict in an in-person work environment can be hard enough, but what happens in hybrid and remote environments where much communication is conducted by email without the benefit of face-to-face interactions?

An over reliance on text, chat, and emails can lead to perceived slights, assumptions, and misunderstandings, just because it’s so much harder to read the author’s intent. 

A few tips that can keep conflict from developing in a remote environment include:

  • Avoid using email to discuss or resolve conflicts. Instead, meet in person where tone of voice indicates intent, or at least meet via video conference. 
  • Provide tech support for remote employees. If remote and hybrid workers have trouble dealing with technology, it is likely to foment workplace conflict.  Work with your company’s information technology division, as well as with supervisors  to support their ability to effectively manage remote and hybrid workers.
  • Make sure worker schedules are transparent and aligned . Invite input and discussion about scheduling decisions, and clearly state expectations. 
  • Trust your employees . Many managers can’t squelch a nagging feeling that remote and hybrid workers are slacking off. However, treating workers like they can’t be trusted will damage morale and de-motivate some of your best workers. Rely on results and conversations about workload to reassure you that employees are performing.
  • Coach remote workers. Provide opportunities for remote workers to connect with each other and build more visibility. When remote workers build relationships with other team members, it can help cultivate a sense of trust and goodwill that can help prevent the assumptions that may lead to conflict.
  • Provide a cooling off period when things get hot. When conflicts do arise, think twice before addressing them in the heat of the moment. Allow for a period of reflection, providing team members with written questions they can reflect on. In a later meeting, colleagues can be given an opportunity to ask questions and respond.
  • Don’t forget the final objective . Workplace conflicts often arise because different team members have different ideas about how to achieve a common goal. Address this problem by framing the conflict with an organization’s broader mission and values. Those values should guide interactions and help make a path forward clearer.

In short, conflict among team members is an inescapable part of working life, but it doesn’t have to lead to acrimony and antagonism at the office. Using a few of the conflict management strategies we’ve discussed, you’ll find that you can resolve issues in a way that encourages a positive and productive work environment.

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About the Author

Pamela Reynolds is a Boston-area feature writer and editor whose work appears in numerous publications. She is the author of “Revamp: A Memoir of Travel and Obsessive Renovation.”

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Conflict Resolution

8 ways to resolve conflict in the workplace.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

Where there are people, there is conflict. We each have our values, needs and habits, so it's easy to misunderstand or irritate one another – or worse, to fall into conflict.

Left unchecked, conflict can lead to bad decisions and outright disputes, bullying or harassment. Teamwork breaks down, morale drops, and projects grind to a halt. Organizations feel the hit with wasted talent, high absenteeism, and increased staff turnover.

But conflict can be resolved. What's more, it can bring issues to light, strengthen relationships, and spark innovation – so long as you don't try to ignore it!

In this article, we'll explore different types of conflict, what causes conflict, and how to reach a positive outcome when you find yourself in conflict with a co-worker. (To identify the signs of conflict occurring between other people and to help them overcome their conflict with one another, we recommend our follow-on article, Resolving Team Conflict .)

Conflict Resolution Definition

Generally, workplace conflicts fall into two categories:

  • Personality conflict or disagreements between individuals. These clashes are driven and perpetuated by emotions such as anger, stress and frustration.
  • Substantive conflict is tangible and task-related, like the decisions leaders make, the performance of a team member, or your company's direction.

If unaddressed, both can spiral into wider conflict between teams, departments or businesses. Conflict resolution can be defined as the process of identifying, addressing, and resolving disagreements or disputes among employees in a professional setting, thereby fostering a positive and productive work environment.

What Causes Conflict at Work?

Some of the most common causes of workplace conflict are:

  • Unclear responsibilities . Some team members may feel they do more work than others, or resent those who seem to have fewer responsibilities. Blame and frustration can build due to duplicated work or unfinished tasks.
  • Competition for resources . Time, money, materials, equipment, and skillsets are finite resources. Competition for them can lead to conflict.
  • Different interests . People may focus on personal or departmental goals over organizational ones. Or be held up and frustrated by others who they rely on to do their jobs effectively.

Read our article on Bell and Hart's Eight Causes of Conflict for more sources of – and solutions to – disputes.

Five Conflict Resolution Strategies

When you find yourself in a conflict situation, these five strategies will help you to resolve disagreements quickly and effectively:

1. Raise the Issue Early

Keeping quiet only lets resentment fester. Equally, speaking with other people first can fuel rumor and misunderstanding.

So, whether you're battling over the thermostat or feel that you're being micromanaged, be direct and talk with the other party. However, if you're afraid of making that approach, or worry that it may make the problem worse, speak with your manager first, or your HR department if the other party is your manager.

Either way, be assertive (not aggressive) and speak openly. This will encourage others to do the same – and you can get to the root cause of a problem before it escalates.

2. Manage Your Emotions

Choose your timing when you talk to someone about the conflict. If you're angry, you may say something you'll regret and inflame the situation. Be careful to avoid playing the blame game .

So stay calm, collect yourself, and ask, "What is it I want to achieve here?", "What are the issues I'm having?" and "What is it that I would like to see?"

See our article Managing Your Emotions at Work for more insight and tips.

3. Show Empathy

When you talk to someone about a conflict, it's natural to want to state your own case, rather than hear out the other side. But when two people do this, the conversation goes in circles.

Instead, invite the other party to describe their position, ask how they think they might resolve the issue, and listen with empathy .

Putting yourself in the other person's shoes is an essential part of negotiation. This helps you to build mutual respect and understanding – and to achieve an outcome that satisfies both parties.

4. Practice Active Listening

To identify the source of the conflict you have to really listen. To listen actively:

  • Paraphrase the other party's points to show you're listening and really understand them.
  • Look out for non-verbal signals that contradict what they are saying, such as a hesitant tone behind positive words. Bring these out into the open sensitively to address them together.
  • Use appropriate body language , such as nodding your head, to show interest and to make it clear that you're following them.

Go further with Empathic Listening or Mindful Listening .

5. Acknowledge Criticism

Some of the things the other person tells you may be difficult to hear. But remember that criticism or constructive feedback is about job behaviors and not you as a person.

So, keep an open mind and use criticism to help you to identify areas to improve, perform better next time, and grow.

Glasers' Three-Step Strategy for Conflict Resolution

Conflict management consultants Peter and Susan Glaser recommend a three-step strategy for resolving conflict, and it draws on many of the skills we've looked at above. You can hear the Glasers talking about their model in our exclusive interview with them. [1]

The steps for these conflict resolution skills are:

  • Prove that you understand their side.
  • Acknowledge that you are part of the problem.
  • Try again if the conversation didn't go well.

Let's try a training exercise and apply each step to a fictional conflict resolution scenario.

Conflict Resolution Training Example

Imagine that the heads of two departments are in conflict. Product Manager Sayid changed the price of a product without letting Marketing Manager Gayanne know. As a result, the marketing team sent out an email to customers with incorrect prices. They had to send out a follow-up email apologizing for the error, and make good on the price some customers paid for the product.

1. Prove That You Understand Their Side

Instead of blaming Sayid, Gayanne asks him how he came to make the decision. She uses her questioning and listening skills to get the information she needs and to show that she's truly hearing Sayid's response.

She discovers that Sayid was pressured by a major client to drop the price or risk losing a contract. She empathizes , saying, "Yes, I've had difficulties with that client before, too."

As Susan Glaser says, "Only when you believe that I understand you, will you be willing to try to understand my perspective." [2]

2. Acknowledge That You Are Part of the Problem

If you're in conflict with someone, it's unlikely you're free of all blame. So admit your part in it. This leads to mutual trust, a better understanding of one another, and makes it easier to find a solution.

In our scenario, Gayanne could say to Sayid, "I should have shared our marketing strategy and email send dates with you. I'll do that right away."

3. Try Again if the Conversation Doesn't Go Well

Despite the progress they've made, relations between the two managers remain frosty, so Sayid calls Gayanne the following week. He says, "I was thinking about our conversation, and I'd like to try again because I'm not happy with how it went. I've had time to take your points on board, and I'd like to talk about how we can work together better going forward."

Remember that you get more than one shot at resolving a conflict. Susan Glaser says, "There's a myth that if we have a bad conversation with someone it's over. In fact, 'do overs' are powerful." [3]

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is conflict resolution important in the workplace?

Unresolved conflicts can hinder productivity and damage team dynamics. Effective conflict resolution helps maintain a positive work environment, promotes collaboration, and ensures issues are addressed before they escalate.

What are some common sources of workplace conflicts?

Workplace conflicts can arise from differences in communication styles, conflicting goals, personality clashes, misunderstandings, resource allocation, or competing priorities. Recognizing these sources is crucial for timely intervention.

How can a team manager effectively address conflicts among team members?

A team manager should act as a mediator and facilitator. Begin by listening to both sides, understanding perspectives, and acknowledging emotions. Encourage open dialogue, find common ground, and work together to find a solution that is fair and beneficial for all parties.

What strategies can managers employ to prevent conflicts from escalating?

Managers can implement proactive measures such as fostering a transparent communication culture, setting clear expectations, defining roles and responsibilities, and promoting team-building activities. By addressing potential sources of conflict early on, managers can prevent minor issues from turning into major disputes.

How does effective conflict resolution contribute to team productivity?

Resolving conflicts promptly maintains a harmonious working environment where team members feel valued and understood. This leads to improved morale, increased focus on tasks, and a more efficient workflow, ultimately enhancing overall team productivity.

When is it appropriate to involve higher management in conflict resolution?

Involving higher management should be considered when conflicts cannot be resolved at the team level or when the conflicts involve larger organizational issues. Higher management can provide a neutral perspective and additional resources to facilitate resolution.

Conflict is common in the workplace. The biggest mistake you can make is to do nothing. Unresolved tensions can affect the health and performance of people and organizations.

So, hone these five conflict resolution skills to pre-empt, manage and fix conflicts with your co-workers:

  • Raise the issue early.
  • Manage your emotions.
  • Show empathy.
  • Practice active listening.
  • Acknowledge criticism.

Then try the Glasers' three-step conflict resolution strategy to resolve issues together:

  • Try again if the conversation doesn't go well.

In the process, you may even discover positives such as improved processes, strengthened relationships, and innovation!

[1] [2] [3] Mind Tools interview with Peter A. Glaser, Ph.D. and Susan R. Glaser. Available here .

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Conflict Resolution in Relationships & Couples: 5 Strategies

Conflict resolution relationships

While conflict is not uncommon, if left unresolved along with related stress, it can damage the bonds that form between people (Overall & McNulty, 2017).

If we accept that all partners will disagree at times, we must also recognize that it is crucial to find a resolution to ensure that the relationship’s health is maintained (Grieger, 2015).

This article explores conflict and its resolution in couples and other relationships, introducing key strategies and activities to help avoid or recover from any harm done.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Communication Exercises (PDF) for free . These science-based tools will help you and those you work with build better social skills and better connect with others.

This Article Contains:

Is conflict resolution important for healthy relationships, how to resolve conflicts in relationships: 4 steps, 5 helpful strategies for couples & married people, 5 exercises, activities, & worksheets for couples therapy, resources from positivepsychology.com, a take-home message.

Conflict need not always lead to damage. Challenge and disagreement within a relationship (romantic or otherwise) can encourage growth, deeper understanding, improved communication , and progress toward a goal (Overall & McNulty, 2017; Tatkin, 2012).

But this is not always the case.

The most critical aspect of conflict affecting the health of a relationship is its resolution. There will always be disagreement and differences of opinion of one kind or another. However, to avoid a loss of trust, damage to intimacy, or behavior that further upsets the relationship, “the couple will want to make sure that the resolution does not leave lingering hurt or resentment in one or both of them” (Grieger, 2015, p. 161).

Clinical psychologist Russell Grieger (2015) suggests that disagreements have four possible outcomes:

  • The outcome is good for the first person, but not the second. This is a win–lose situation. One person gets what they want, while the other is left defeated, possibly feeling hurt, angry, and resentful. Such feelings may lead to further disagreements or surface in other areas of the relationship.
  • The outcome benefits the second person, but not the first. This is similar to the first possible outcome, only this time it is the first person within the relationship who is left feeling thwarted or slighted (a lose–win scenario).
  • The outcome is bad for both people. The third option is bad for both people; they equally face loss (lose–lose). Often a result of stubbornness on both sides when neither wants the other to ‘win,’ so neither will give in . Again, this is damaging for the relationship and, if ongoing or repeated, ultimately toxic.
  • A resolution is found that is appropriate for both people. The couple or partners work toward an equally beneficial resolution and achieve a win–win outcome. Neither person is left feeling defeated or damaged, leading to increased confidence and trust in the relationship .

Undoubtedly, the fourth option is the most ideal for a long-term, healthy partnership and avoids the potential for a downward spiral in the relationship (Grieger, 2015). When in response to conflict, a win–win outcome leads to growth and moving forward.

Steps to resolve conflict

  • Step 1 – Eliminate relationship disturbances Firstly, it is vital to remove or at least reduce emotions that will get in the way of conflict resolution, such as hurt, anger, and resentment.

Otherwise, either side is unlikely to listen patiently and openly to what the other is saying.

  • Step 2 – Commit to a win–win posture Each party must commit to finding a solution that works equally for both. One side winning while the other loses is not acceptable. The couple must remain motivated and open to change.
  • Step 3 – Adopt purposeful listening A win–win solution is more likely when each partner is actively listening to the other. Each individual knows what a win looks like for themselves but now must purposefully listen to the other, avoiding censorship or judgment.

Once both have a shared understanding, a win–win solution is possible.

  • Step 4 – Practice synergistic brainstorming The couple can progress toward identifying a workable resolution, having removed any emotional contamination, adopted a win–win mindset, and fully committed to a win for both.

The couple can share ideas, hopes, needs, goals, and concerns until finding a solution that satisfies both of them.

conflict resolution plan essay

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Conflict can become an unhealthy habit, leading to a repeating pattern of one or both partners consistently feeling they have lost (Grieger, 2015).

It’s important to consider what brought the couple together in the first place and what they can do more or less of to show their love and understand one another better going forward.

Launching and landing rituals

Heading out to work, school, or the store is described as launching , a time when one partner leaves the relationship world for the non-relationship world (Tatkin, 2012).

Launchings and landings (returning to the relationship) can be an opportunity for conflict or the perfect chance to build healthy relationship-building habits.

Ask yourself or your client:

  • Do you run out the door?
  • Do you give a lingering kiss and share a moment?
  • Do you return, slamming the door as you come in and ask what’s for dinner?
  • Do you walk in with a smile and a funny story to tell?

What is right for one couple may not be for the next. It is essential to consider the message sent by each partner’s behavior. An enjoyable farewell and return can, in time, improve connections and reduce the risk of conflict.

Blueprint for love

Caddell (2013) describes the importance of building a blueprint for love. Conflict often arises from misunderstandings or a failure to consider the other’s needs and wishes.

Understanding what a loving relationship looks like to your partner may make it easier to recognize what upsets or frustrates them.

Use the Blueprint for Love worksheet to reflect on how a relationship’s blueprint for love might look.

The exercise begins by asking the client to think of a couple from their past who had a loving relationship. It may be their parents, or they can choose two other people who showed love, acceptance, and caring for one another. Then the person considers what they are looking for in a relationship.

Nothing swept under the rug

Conflict is often unavoidable and sometimes outside of our control. However, how we respond to disagreements, harsh words, and arguments is .

Tatkin (2012, p. 155) suggests couples should adopt the “policy never to avoid anything, no matter how difficult.” Not leaving things to fester and returning at a later date requires paying attention to one another and recognizing what is sensitive for the other person.

Aim to discuss and agree on a mutually beneficial outcome as soon as possible after an issue occurs. If that’s not possible, then agree when it can be discussed.

Revisiting the past

Sometimes couples forget what they saw in each other when they first met. Instead, they become wrapped up in repeating patterns of arguing, disagreements, and conflict.

Revisiting the past can serve as a helpful reminder of what is good about a couple and review why they are together (Williams, 2012).

Ask the couple to consider and discuss the following relationship therapy questions :

  • What made you fall in love with each other?
  • What were your early years like together?
  • How were things better then?
  • How are things better now?
  • How do you currently show your partner that you care?
  • What does your partner do that makes you feel loved?
  • What caring behaviors can you do more of or start?

Focus on good communication

Clear, open, and complete dialogue is crucial to a successful relationship and reducing conflict. Sharing and understanding are best achieved when we are not projecting our own beliefs about a partner or what they are going to say but genuinely paying attention to verbal and nonverbal behavior (Hannah, Luquet, Hendrix, Hunt, & Mason, 2005).

Effective listening takes practice. Focus on your partner, what they have to say, and how they act; do not divide attention by looking at your phone or people passing by. Hear what they are saying and how they say it, rather than attending to your own thoughts. And crucially, be comfortable with moments of silence and practice nonjudgment.

Exercises for couples therapy

Yet this can lead to any resolution being preferable to none due to the fear or discomfort of conflict.

To break out of the lose–win, win–lose, or lose–lose pattern often experienced in a relationship, each partnership must find their own path to achieving a win–win outcome (Grieger, 2015).

The following couples therapy exercises help to remove obstacles in the way of achieving positive outcomes in order to better understand how to ensure both partners win:

Removing relationship disturbances

Existing relationship disturbances can negatively affect finding an appropriate conflict resolution.

Ask each partner to complete the Removing Relationship Disturbances worksheet.

The exercise begins by each partner identifying existing disagreements and conflicts in their relationship and the emotional reactions that accompany them.

Couples answer the following:

  • What do we disagree about?
  • How do I emotionally react?
  • How does my partner emotionally react?

To help with this exercise, couples can think about times when they experienced hurt, upset, anger, insecurity, and fear.

Next, they consider what they could do to remove such disturbances, being specific. What actions could resolve the problem causing these emotional reactions?

Agree to a Win–Win Mindset

Finding a better outcome to conflict requires adopting a win–win mindset. Grieger (2015) suggests rather than asking yourself, “How can I get what I want?” ask, “How can we get what we want?”

This change in approach requires a commitment from both partners to find solutions to problems that lead to mutual satisfaction.

Ask each partner to complete the Agree to a Win–Win Mindset and sign off on the following:

I, ____________________________, commit to adopting a win–win mindset where I work toward outcomes from current and future disagreements so that we both get what we want and need.

Tell them that to achieve a win–win outcome from conflicts, they need to commit to the mindset that they want to reach satisfactory results from all aspects of their relationship.

Once they have both physically signed up, put the sheet somewhere visible in the house to remind both parties that a new mindset is required throughout the relationship, now and in the future.

Listening With Purpose

To understand what a win means for the other person during conflict or a disagreement, it is essential to listen well, forming a deep understanding of their needs, hopes, fears, and wishes.

Use the Listening With Purpose worksheet to capture what winning looks like for both partners in a relationship before considering the next steps.

The couple should take some time, preferably in a place where they both feel safe and comfortable, to discuss what outcome they would like from the existing disagreement.

Without judgment and allowing each person the opportunity to talk openly, they should be able to share what they want. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer – only a true reflection of needs.

Brainstorming for Synergy

Compromise is essential in any relationship, particularly during conflict. Each partner must consider giving something up of similar value so that they meet somewhere in the middle (Grieger, 2015).

Use the Brainstorming for Synergy worksheet to encourage bouncing ideas off each other until the couple finds a win for both partners.

Capture the following:

  • What is the disagreement about?
  • What does a win for each person look like?
  • Brainstorm ideas that could lead to mutual satisfaction.

Often, resolutions to conflict and disagreement feel like a win to both parties; this is a win–win situation. The couple’s goal should be for mutual satisfaction.

Regular Couple Check-Ups

We have regular check-ups for our physical wellbeing, so why not for our relationship health? Without regular monitoring, we don’t know if we are doing things right or wrong for the relationship and avoiding unnecessary conflict.

Grieger (2015) suggests the beginning of the month is a great time to attend to the health of the relationship. Use the Regular Couple Check-Ups worksheet to take stock honestly and openly and make plans for keeping the relationship on track or shake things up a little.

Ask each partner to consider the following questions together or apart:

  • What is working well in the relationship, and what should we keep doing?
  • What is working okay in the relationship that we could improve?
  • What are we not doing that we need to start?
  • What are we not doing so well and need to stop, improve, or replace?

The check-ups must be approached with an open, win–win mindset. This is not an opportunity to score points, but to perform a relationship health check and move forward in a positive way.

Couples therapist: 5 steps to repair conflict in your relationship

If you’re looking for more tools to help your clients strengthen their relationships, be sure to check out three of our hand-picked exercises from the Positive Psychology Toolkit©, which you can download for free in our 3 Positive Relationships Exercises Pack .

Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s included:

  • Connecting with Others by Self-Disclosure In this exercise, clients practice answering questions that require personal disclosure. With one person acting as a listener while the other speaks, it is an opportunity for clients to get comfortable with the vulnerability inherent in self-disclosure as a means to strengthen intimacy and connection.
  • Identifying our Expert Companions This exercise introduces clients to the notion of an expert companion as someone who can listen and help guide them through challenging times. In it, clients will discover the qualities inherent in their ideal expert companion and identify someone in their life who is best suited to fill this valuable role.
  • The Sound Relationship House Inspection This exercise teaches couples the nine elements of the Sound Relationship House (SRH) as a metaphor for the functioning of their relationship. By having each partner rate their perception of the nine elements, couples will clarify areas of agreement and aspects of the relationship that would benefit from greater nurturing and attention.

Try out these powerful tools for yourself by downloading the exercise pack today.

Additional reading we recommend includes:

  • 14 Conflict Resolution Strategies & Techniques for the Workplace This article about conflict resolution in the workplace is a helpful additional read, especially where couples work together. Whether it is working in the family business or working from home, these can cause conflict so be sure to have a look at this article too.

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others communicate better, this collection contains 17 validated positive communication tools for practitioners. Use them to help others improve their communication skills and form deeper and more positive relationships.

conflict resolution plan essay

17 Exercises To Develop Positive Communication

17 Positive Communication Exercises [PDF] to develop help others develop communication skills for successful social interactions and positive, fulfilling relationships.

Created by Experts. 100% Science-based.

Conflict is a natural part of life. While it is not always damaging, it plays an inevitable role in every relationship.

Indeed, “all couples have disagreements. It is impossible to avoid them. It is how they handle them that will make or break their relationship” (Grieger, 2015, p. 164).

While couples should try to avoid a repeating pattern of conflict, when conflict is inevitable, they should seek a solution that leaves neither party feeling unfairly treated, hurt, or angry. If the resolution leaves one person feeling slighted or resentful, it can creep into other areas of the relationship.

A win–win outcome is most likely when we commit to fairness and listen to one another with open minds and hearts. We must use what we hear and what we already know of the other person to work together and find a solution where no one is left feeling they have lost.

While it is essential to avoid unnecessary conflict, it is helpful to develop an environment in which a couple can flourish and adopt a compassionate, trusting outlook that avoids damage or aids healing when conflict is unavoidable.

These strategies, worksheets, and exercises, teamed with the desire to grow and develop as a couple, provide a way to resolve conflict and form deeper bonds.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Communication Exercises (PDF) for free .

  • Caddell, J. (2013). Your best love: The couple’s workbook and guide to their best relationship. Author .
  • Grieger, R. (2015). The couples therapy companion: A cognitive behavior workbook . Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Hannah, M. T., Luquet, W., Hendrix, H., Hunt, H., & Mason, R. C. (2005). Imago relationship therapy: Perspectives on theory . Jossey-Bass.
  • Overall, N. C., & McNulty, J. K. (2017). What type of communication during conflict is beneficial for intimate relationships? Current Opinion in Psychology , 13 , 1–5.
  • Tatkin, S. (2012). Wired for love: How understanding your partner’s brain and attachment style can help you defuse conflict and build a secure relationship . New Harbinger.
  • Williams, M. (2012). Couples counseling: A step by step guide for therapists . Viale.

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What our readers think.

Edosa Ekhator

Thank you for this beautiful article. What happens when the other party don’t want to communicate but wants some space.

Caroline Rou

Thanks for your question. Sadly, we do not have any control over the way that others choose to communicate with us. We do, however, have full agency over the way that we act in response to another person’s communication style.

It’s important to remember that a conversation probably won’t be very productive if the parties involved have different needs at that moment, so it is probably best to wait until everyone involved is ready to discuss.

I hope this helps!

-Caroline | Community Management


In my relationship, I like to resolve things quickly, but my partner tends to push things off and never takes the initiative to start these conversations. It leaves me feeling resentful, even though I want to respect his desire to take space. How is a good way of addressing this?

Julia Poernbacher

It’s understandable that you’re feeling frustrated in this situation. Communication is crucial in any relationship, and it can be challenging when the ways you and your partner handle conflicts differ. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

– Express your feelings: Start by letting your partner know how you’re feeling, using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For instance, you might say, “I feel a bit upset when we don’t resolve our disagreements promptly, and it often leaves me feeling resentful.” – Understanding each other’s needs: It’s important to understand that people have different ways of processing emotions and conflicts. Your partner might need more time to think things through, while you might prefer addressing issues immediately. Discuss these differences openly and try to understand each other’s needs. – Find a compromise: Based on your understanding of each other’s needs, try to find a middle ground. Perhaps you could agree to give your partner some space to process, but they also agree to initiate a conversation about the issue within a certain timeframe. – Seek professional help: If these conversations are difficult or if you can’t seem to find a compromise, you might find it helpful to seek guidance from a relationship counselor.

Remember, it’s perfectly normal for couples to have different conflict resolution styles. The key is to communicate openly, understand each other’s needs, and find a compromise that works for both of you.

Best of luck, Julia | Community Manager

Alemnesh Gutema megersaa

Please help me my marriage is divorced before 1 year.i have very regret.so how I can be resolved.the problem

Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

Hi Alemnesh,

I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling regret. Have you considered speaking with someone, perhaps a coach, therapist, or even a good friend, about your feelings surrounding the relationship? Of course, what to do next largely depends on the circumstances surrounding the end of the relationship, but perhaps sharing your concerns with someone you can trust may give you some insight or encouragement to help you move forward, whether that means looking to move on or trying to rekindle the relationship.

I wish you all the best.

– Nicole | Community Manager

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conflict resolution plan essay

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Examining Plot Conflict through a Comparison/Contrast Essay

Examining Plot Conflict through a Comparison/Contrast Essay

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Students explore picture books to identify the characteristics of four types of conflict: character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. nature, and character vs. society. Next, students write about conflict in their own lives and then look for similarities among all the conflicts shared by the class, ultimately classifying each conflict into one of the four types. Finally, after investigating the compare and contrast format, students conclude with a compare and contrast essay that focuses on two conflicts—one from their own experience and one from a picture book or story that they have read.

Featured Resources

Plot Conflict PowerPoint Presentation : This brief presentation introduces the plot diagram, and offers examples of each type of conflict.

Comparison and Contrast Guide : This student-centered online guide provides a thorough introduction to the compare and contrast essay format, including definitions, transitions, graphic organizers, checklists, and examples.

From Theory to Practice

"Where do good writers come from? . . . [T]hey develop through creative instruction, caring adult models, well-structured peer interaction, and lots and lots of practice. But we also know, both from composition research, and from our own lives, that good writers also grow by reading" (58).

This testimonial from Harvey Daniels speaks directly to the power of using literature to teach writing. In this lesson, students are doing just that-They look at examples of plot development and conflict resolution as they grow into their own definitions. Building bridges from literature to writing, students then write their own piece about conflict resolution.

Further Reading

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
  • 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

Materials and Technology

  • Selected books from the booklist  
  • Plot Conflict PowerPoint Presentation  
  • Chalkboard/Chart Paper/Overhead Projector
  • Conflict Type Chart  
  • Literary Elements Mapping: Conflict Map  
  • Compare and Contrast Chart Graphic Organizer (optional instead of Compare and Constrast Map)  
  • Comparison and Contrast Rubric  
  • Using Picture Books to Teach Plot Conflict Handout


  • In preparation for this lesson, students should have experience with personal reading response journals.  
  • Arrange for a computer and projector to show the PowerPoint presentation.  
  • Prepare a 4-column chart, using chart paper or an overhead transparency, that matches the Conflict Type Chart . You'll record class details on this chart during the sessions. If desired, you can duplicate the Chart for students to record their observations on individually as well.  
  • Preview the PowerPoint presentation and download a copy to your machine, if desired, to share with your class. You can also make copies of the PowerPoint slides to distribute to students.  
  • Compile books from the booklist . Select the passages or illustrations to use to illustrate plot conflict.  
  • Make copies or overhead transparencies of the Comparison/Contrast Rubric .  
  • Test the Story Map , Online Comparison and Contrast Guide , Compare and Contrast Map , and Venn Diagram Student Interactive on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • make predictions about the conflicts in the selected pieces of literature, based on selected illustrations from the stories.  
  • identify four types of conflict in literature (character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. nature, character vs. society).  
  • make personal connections to plot conflict.  
  • discuss specific conflicts as a small group or whole class.  
  • identify the variables that contributed to the conflicts through completion of a graphic organizer.  
  • write a comparison/contrast essay, comparing a conflict they have had to one that a character has in a story they have read.

Session One

  • Ask your students to respond in writing or verbally to the question, "What is plot conflict?" If they respond in writing first, follow the writing session with a general discussion of students' understanding of the literary element.  
  • After students have discuss plot conflict, craft a working definition of plot conflict in their notebooks or reading responses or writing journals.  
  • Using their initial definition of plot conflict, ask students to write their interpretation of each of the above types of conflicts. Students can also add examples from literature of events that fit into the four categories.  
  • Help students work through their definition of plot conflict by viewing the Plot Conflict PowerPoint Presentation (or hand out copies of the slides to the students).  
  • After examining the PowerPoint presentation, invite students to revise and add to their working definitions.  
  • As a class, create a working definition and record the definition on the board or chart paper.  
  • Using a book from the booklist , read a selected passage or show an illustration which demonstrates one of the types of conflict.  
  • Ask the students to write short sentences about each passage or illustration in their journals or notebooks. In addition, ask the students to identify the type of conflict and the reasons for the category they have chosen.  
  • Ask students to share what they have written for each illustration in pairs, small groups, or as a whole class. Listen to the discussion to assess the students' understanding of the conflicts.  
  • If there is time left at the end of the session, allow students to explore the picture books from the booklist . Listen for any comments students make about the plot or the illustrations.

Session Two

  • Write the following prompt on the board, "Have you ever had a problem or conflict with another person? Write about a problem or conflict, and include an example."  
  • Explain that the problem or conflict does not have to involve physical confrontations.  
  • Provide an example for students, such as disagreement with a friend, to ensure that students understand the question.  
  • Allow students five to ten minutes to respond in their reading response or writing journals.  
  • Once students have written their responses, ask them to share their responses with the class or in small groups.  
  • Explain that like the problems they have had in their own lives, characters in the stories we read also experience conflicts and challenges.  
  • Divide students into small groups. Be sure that the working definition of conflict is posted on the board for the class to view.  
  • Ask each group to make a list in their reading response/writing journals of three examples of conflicts in literature.  
  • Once students have gathered their examples, ask each team to share their findings. Record the examples on a sheet of chart paper or on the board.  
  • Once the list is compiled, ask students to identify any similarities they see among the conflicts.  
  • Post your Conflict Type Chart where all students can see it. Ideally, create a chart paper or overhead transparency version of the chart. If desired, distribute copies of the chart to students or ask them to create similar charts in their notebooks or journals.  
  • Ask students to categorize the conflicts on their list by placing them on the Conflict Type Chart , under the appropriate column (character vs. character, character vs. nature, character vs. self, or character vs. society).  
  • Listen to students' discussion and assess their ability to categorize. You should be able to determine if they understand the differences between the four types of conflict. If your assessment shows that the students need further practice identifying the kinds of conflicts, follow this session with the activities on the Using Picture Books to Teach Plot Conflict handout. This additional practice will require multiple, additional sessions.

Session Three

  • Ask students to select a picture book from the booklist . Give them time to read the books they've chosen.  
  • Introduce the Conflict Map, which can be found on the Story Map interactive. If you prefer that students work offline, pass out copies of the print Conflict Map . Note that this step may need to be completed in a separate setting depending upon scheduling and availability of computers.  
  • Once students understand how to use the interactive, ask them to complete the graphic organizer using the Story Map interactive. If students are working offline, ask them to complete the print Conflict Map .  
  • As students complete their graphic organizers, invite them to share their observations and books in small groups or with the entire class.

Session Four

  • Make sure that the charts about conflict from previous sessions are still posted.  
  • Ask students to make a list of conflicts they have had in their lives in their reading response or writing journals.  
  • As the students create their lists, they should identify what type of conflict they had in each case. For example if a student identifies an argument with a friend as a conflict, next to that idea he should write "character vs. character."  
  • Begin a list of your own on the board or on a transparency to model for students. Use "think aloud" to demonstrate how to refer to the posted charts for help as needed. Continue adding to your list as students work on their own lists.  
  • After students have had time to create their lists, explain that you'll use the list to find a topic for a comparison/contrast paper that focuses on a conflict they have gone through and one that a character has gone through in a story they've read.  
  • Before continuing with the lesson, make sure students have a good understanding of the terms compare and contrast . If students need additional support, use chart paper to post the definitions of the words in the room for reference.  
  • Using an LCD projector, or in a computer lab, view and discuss the Compare and Contrast Guide .  
  • After viewing the Compare and Contrast Guide , ask students to revisit their brainstormed list and identify any of the conflicts that are similar to those of characters they have read about.  
  • Invite students to share their responses.  
  • Choosing one of the conflicts from your list, use the "Think Aloud" strategy to share the reasons that the conflict reminds you of a conflict that a character has in a story that the class is familiar with.  
  • Use the "Graphic Organizer" tab on the Comparison and Contrast Guide to introduce the 2-Circle Venn Diagram. Alternately, you can use the Compare and Contrast Chart Graphic Organizer if you prefer. Use your "Think Aloud" example to model through the process of gathering information using the graphic organizer.  
  • Open the Venn Diagram Student Interactive . Alternately, you can draw a simple graphic organizer of a Venn diagram (two overlapping circles) on the board. Label the circles-one for your personal conflict and the other for the conflict from the story.  
  • Brainstorm characteristics about the two conflicts and drag them to the appropriate circle. Print your finished organizer to complete your demonstration.  
  • Use the "Organizing a Paper" tab on the Comparison and Contrast Guide to introduce the Similarities-to-Differences structure.  
  • Demonstrate how to use the structure to organize ideas with the Compare and Contrast Map . Alternately, you can open a new word processor file and compose the first sections of an essay as a group.  
  • Model for the students how to cut, copy, and paste commands for your word processor software.  
  • Use the "Transitions" tab on the Comparison and Contrast Guide to introduce the use of transitional words to increase coherence.  
  • As you read back through the sample that you've written as a class, note the existing transitional words and add transitions as needed.

Sessions Five and Six

  • Introduce the Comparison and Contrast Rubric so students know what expectations are for the writing project. Answer any questions that they have about the guidelines. Alternately, you can use the "Checklist" tab from the Comparison and Contrast Guide to explain the requirements for the finished essay.  
  • Explain that during these sessions, students will complete complete Venn Diagrams .  
  • Remind students of the details for the project that are posted around the classroom.  
  • While students work, circulate through the classroom, aiding students who need help.  
  • After the graphic organizers are complete, students can at their own pace go on to the next steps in the writing process including, drafting, self editing, peer editing, self editing and re-drafting.  
  • As appropriate, point students to the Comparison and Contrast Guide online, which they can use for reference as they work.  
  • When the students have completed their compare/contrast essay, ask them to read through their draft with the rubric in mind. Encourage students to make revisions to their work, in line with the requirements listed in the rubric, before submitting their work.
  • Since conflict is so critical in the development of plot, invite the students to map out the plot of a story using the Plot Diagram Tool .  
  • While students in this lesson are writing a comparison/contrast essay on conflict in their lives and in literature, invite students to compare books and related films using the Get The Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies lesson plan.  
  • If your students need additional practice with the compare and contrast essay, use the ReadWriteThink lesson Teaching the Compare and Contrast Essay through Modeling .

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Take students’ oral and written responses into consideration to gauge which students need more individual attention for the following lessons.  
  • Use the Conflict Map from group work to determine how well a student understands plot conflict and the four different types of conflict that have been introduced. If a group has trouble with this exercise, revisit the topic with small groups, using an additional picture book to provide students with more experience with plot conflict.  
  • If possible, read each students essay individually with the student and provide direct feedback. When this option is not available, constructive written comments are helpful. As you read the essays, keep notes on the aspects to review and share with the class later. For more structured feedback, use the Comparison and Contrast Rubric .  
  • After you have finished responding to the essays, review them with the class, adding advice as needed. You might go back and model an area where students needed more practice. Alternately, you can use the Comparison and Contrast Tour to review the area.
  • Student Interactives
  • Professional Library

The Story Map interactive is designed to assist students in prewriting and postreading activities by focusing on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution.

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

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Guest Essay

J.D. Vance: The Math on Ukraine Doesn’t Add Up

A photograph of a large stack of tube-shaped artillery shells, stretching out of the frame in every direction.

By J. D. Vance

Mr. Vance, a Republican, is the junior senator from Ohio.

President Biden wants the world to believe that the biggest obstacle facing Ukraine is Republicans and our lack of commitment to the global community. This is wrong.

Ukraine’s challenge is not the G.O.P.; it’s math. Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide. This reality must inform any future Ukraine policy, from further congressional aid to the diplomatic course set by the president.

The Biden administration has applied increasing pressure on Republicans to pass a supplemental aid package of more than $60 billion to Ukraine. I voted against this package in the Senate and remain opposed to virtually any proposal for the United States to continue funding this war. Mr. Biden has failed to articulate even basic facts about what Ukraine needs and how this aid will change the reality on the ground.

The most fundamental question: How much does Ukraine need and how much can we actually provide? Mr. Biden suggests that a $60 billion supplemental means the difference between victory and defeat in a major war between Russia and Ukraine. That is also wrong. This $60 billion is a fraction of what it would take to turn the tide in Ukraine’s favor. But this is not just a matter of dollars. Fundamentally, we lack the capacity to manufacture the amount of weapons Ukraine needs us to supply to win the war.

Consider our ability to produce 155-millimeter artillery shells. Last year, Ukraine’s defense minister estimated that the country’s base-line requirement for these shells was over four million per year but that it could fire up to seven million if that many were available. Since the start of the conflict, the United States has gone to great lengths to ramp up production of 155-millimeter shells. We’ve roughly doubled our capacity and can now produce 360,000 per year — less than a tenth of what Ukraine says it needs. The administration’s goal is to get this to 1.2 million — 30 percent of what’s needed — by the end of 2025. This would cost the American taxpayers dearly while yielding an unpleasantly familiar result: failure abroad.

Just this week, the top American military commander in Europe argued that absent further security assistance, Russia could soon have a 10-to-1 artillery advantage over Ukraine. What didn’t gather as many headlines is that Russia’s current advantage is at least 5 to 1, even after all the money we have poured into the conflict. Neither of these ratios plausibly leads to Ukrainian victory.

Proponents of American aid to Ukraine have argued that our approach has been a boon to our own economy, creating jobs here in the factories that manufacture weapons. But our national security interests can be — and often are — separate from our economic interests. The notion that we should prolong a bloody and gruesome war because it’s been good for American business is grotesque. We can and should rebuild our industrial base without shipping its products to a foreign conflict.

The story is the same when we look at other munitions. Take the Patriot missile system — our premier air defense weapon. It’s of such importance in this war that Ukraine’s foreign minister has specifically demanded them. That’s because in March alone, Russia reportedly launched over 3,000 guided aerial bombs, 600 drones and 400 missiles at Ukraine. To fend off these attacks, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and others have indicated they need thousands of Patriot interceptors per year. The problem is this: The United States only manufactures 550 per year. If we pass the supplemental aid package currently being considered in Congress, we could potentially increase annual production to 650, but that’s still less than a third of what Ukraine requires.

These weapons are not only needed by Ukraine. If China were to set its sights on Taiwan, the Patriot missile system would be critical to its defense. In fact, the United States has promised to send Taiwan nearly $900 million worth of Patriot missiles, but delivery of those weapons and other essential resources has been severely delayed, partly because of shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.

If that sounds bad, Ukraine’s manpower situation is even worse. Here are the basics: Russia has nearly four times the population of Ukraine. Ukraine needs upward of half a million new recruits, but hundreds of thousands of fighting-age men have already fled the country. The average Ukrainian soldier is roughly 43 years old , and many soldiers have already served two years at the front with few, if any, opportunities to stop fighting. After two years of conflict, there are some villages with almost no men left. The Ukrainian military has resorted to coercing men into service, and women have staged protests to demand the return of their husbands and fathers after long years of service at the front. This newspaper reported one instance in which the Ukrainian military attempted to conscript a man with a diagnosed mental disability.

Many in Washington seem to think that hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainians have gone to war with a song in their heart and are happy to label any thought to the contrary Russian propaganda. But major newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic are reporting that the situation on the ground in Ukraine is grim.

These basic mathematical realities were true, but contestable, at the outset of the war. They were obvious and incontestable a year ago, when American leadership worked closely with Mr. Zelensky to undertake a disastrous counteroffensive. The bad news is that accepting brute reality would have been most useful last spring, before the Ukrainians launched that extremely costly and unsuccessful military campaign. The good news is that even now, a defensive strategy can work. Digging in with old-fashioned ditches, cement and land mines are what enabled Russia to weather Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive. Our allies in Europe could better support such a strategy, as well. While some European countries have provided considerable resources, the burden of military support has thus far fallen heaviest on the United States.

By committing to a defensive strategy, Ukraine can preserve its precious military manpower, stop the bleeding and provide time for negotiations to commence. But this would require both the American and Ukrainian leadership to accept that Mr. Zelensky’s stated goal for the war — a return to 1991 boundaries — is fantastical.

The White House has said time and again that it can’t negotiate with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. This is absurd. The Biden administration has no viable plan for the Ukrainians to win this war. The sooner Americans confront this truth, the sooner we can fix this mess and broker for peace.

J.D. Vance ( @JDVance1 ), a Republican, is the junior senator from Ohio.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .

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US vetoes widely supported resolution backing full UN membership for Palestine

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States vetoed a widely backed U.N. resolution Thursday that would have paved the way for full United Nations membership for Palestine, a goal the Palestinians have long sought and Israel has worked to prevent.

The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 12 in favor, the United States opposed and two abstentions, from the United Kingdom and Switzerland. U.S. allies France, Japan and South Korea supported the resolution.

The strong support the Palestinians received reflects not only the growing number of countries recognizing their statehood but almost certainly the global support for Palestinians facing a humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Gaza , now in its seventh month.

The resolution would have recommended that the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, approve Palestine becoming the 194th member of the United Nations . Some 140 countries have already recognized Palestine, so its admission would have been approved, likely by a much higher number of countries.

U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood told the Security Council that the veto “does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood but instead is an acknowledgment that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties.”

Khalil al-Hayya, a high-ranking Hamas official who has represented the Palestinian militant group in negotiations for a cease-fire and hostage exchange deal, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Istanbul, Turkey, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

The United States has “been very clear consistently that premature actions in New York — even with the best intentions — will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people ,” deputy State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.

His voice breaking at times, Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the council after the vote: “The fact that this resolution did not pass will not break our will and it will not defeat our determination.”

“We will not stop in our effort,” he said. “The state of Palestine is inevitable. It is real. Perhaps they see it as far away, but we see it as near.”

This is the second Palestinian attempt for full membership and comes as the war in Gaza has put the more than 75-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict at center stage.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas first delivered the Palestinian Authority’s application for U.N. membership in 2011. It failed because the Palestinians didn’t get the required minimum support of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members.

They went to the General Assembly and succeeded by more than a two-thirds majority in having their status raised from a U.N. observer to a non-member observer state in 2012. That opened the door for the Palestinian territories to join U.N. and other international organizations, including the International Criminal Court.

Algerian U.N. Ambassador Amar Bendjama, the Arab representative on the council who introduced the resolution, called Palestine’s admission “a critical step toward rectifying a longstanding injustice” and said that “peace will come from Palestine’s inclusion, not from its exclusion.”

In explaining the U.S. veto, Wood said there are “unresolved questions” on whether Palestine meets the criteria to be considered a state. He pointed to Hamas still exerting power and influence in the Gaza Strip , which is a key part of the state envisioned by the Palestinians.

Wood stressed that the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, where Israel and Palestine live side-by-side in peace, is the only path for security for both sides and for Israel to establish relations with all its Arab neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.

“The United States is committed to intensifying its engagement with the Palestinians and the rest of the region, not only to address the current crisis in Gaza, but to advance a political settlement that will create a path to Palestinian statehood and membership in the United Nations,” he said.

Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, reiterated the commitment to a two-state solution but asserted that Israel believes Palestine “is a permanent strategic threat.”

“Israel will do its best to block the sovereignty of a Palestinian state and to make sure that the Palestinian people are exiled away from their homeland or remain under its occupation forever,” he said.

He demanded of the council and diplomats crowded in the chamber: “What will the international community do? What will you do?”

Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been stalled for years, and Israel’s right-wing government is dominated by hard-liners who oppose Palestinian statehood .

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan called the resolution “disconnected to the reality on the ground” and warned that it “will cause only destruction for years to come and harm any chance for future dialogue.”

Six months after the Oct. 7 attack by the Hamas militant group, which controlled Gaza, and the killing of 1,200 people in “the most brutal massacre of Jews since the Holocaust,” he accused the Security Council of seeking “to reward the perpetrators of these atrocities with statehood.”

Israel’s military offensive in response has killed over 32,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry, and destroyed much of the territory, which speaker after speaker denounced Thursday.

After the vote, Erdan thanked the United States and particularly President Joe Biden “for standing up for truth and morality in the face of hypocrisy and politics.”

He called the Palestinian Authority — which controls the West Bank and the U.S. wants to see take over Gaza where Hamas still has sway — “a terror supporting entity.”

The Israeli U.N. ambassador referred to the requirements for U.N. membership – accepting the obligations in the U.N. Charter and being a “peace-loving” state.

“How can you say seriously that the Palestinians are peace loving? How?” Erdan asked. “The Palestinians are paying terrorists, paying them to slaughter us. None of their leaders condemns terrorism, nor the Oct. 7 massacre. They call Hamas their brothers.”

Despite the Palestinian failure to meet the criteria for U.N. membership, Erdan said most council members supported it.

“It’s very sad because your vote will only embolden Palestinian rejectionism every more and make peace almost impossible,” he said.

conflict resolution plan essay


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