Conflict Resolution Techniques – 4 Necessary Components
Understanding how to solve crisis situations and effectively de-escalate challenging persons takes awareness, rapport, confidence, and the right motivation. This article will discuss these 4 components and how they ought to be included with any conflict resolution techniques you may try to utilize during a crisis.
Safety is paramount in any crisis encounter. Maintaining a calm and professional environment during the actual situation is achieved by focusing on these components.
Awareness of conflict is the first step in identifying how to solve it. Many times people are so engrossed in their own work that they may not realize a conflict going on around them, or one developing below the surface. Every one of us has the responsibility to evaluate ourselves on a regular basis to determine what part we are playing regarding our communication, messages, and interactions we are having with others. Taking a moment to evaluate our own attitude, thoughts, behaviors, and actions can help to ensure we are at a comfortable level in which we are not causing stress or giving off negative “vibes” towards others. Most often, raising our own levels of awareness will allow us to identify when and where we may be inadvertently causing harm or stress towards others. When we are aware of how we are treating others, we can be empowered to utilize conflict resolution techniques effectively and better understand the conflict resolution process.
Building rapport is a vital component of conflict resolution and must be something that is incorporated into every crisis encounter. Many interventions in workplace conflicts have broken down simply due to the individuals involved failing to build effective rapport with the person in crisis. De-escalation takes understanding and empathy. These are products of a responder taking the time to try and bridge the gap between two opposing points of view or position. When someone simply listens to another person and makes the statement, “I understand what your saying, and I can see how you might feel that way,” it immediately helps to build a sense of togetherness and a bond between the two persons that they can relate to a similar emotion going on at the time. This is a simple yet incredibly powerful method to build rapport and help someone to communicate further about what issues they are suffering from.
Having confidence during an intervention is a necessity. Attempting to use conflict resolution techniques without effective prior training or actual competency can make a situation much worse. Individuals in crisis will most often be influenced by the person attempting to de-escalate them. If they sense that the individual lacks confidence in their ability to handle the situation, it can cause further escalation. The person in crisis is in a position (most often) where they are in need of something they currently cannot handle, and if they believe that the person attempting to help them is not confident or appears unsure of themselves, this can then cause the individual to feel that they will not get the help they need. This individual often resorts to further agitation and/or hostility as their needs are continuing to be unmet, and they can begin to feel a sense of hopelessness.
Going into any conflict or crisis situation, it is key that responders have a strong motivation towards successful resolution of the encounter. Although this would be considered common sense, a responder that may be resentful about the situation altogether or demonstrates an uncaring attitude towards using conflict resolution techniques will surely find themselves in more crisis situations that end poorly. As is often the case, when responders are stressed out, worn down, suffering from low morale, overworked, and underpaid; their internal motivation to take the extra few minutes to help someone in need is minimal at best. Responders must check their motivation prior to walking into a crisis situation (when possible) and ensure they understand what they stand to gain from effective use of conflict resolution techniques, and how successful resolution will benefit their day-to-day working life and interactions.
For more information on conflict resolution techniques for the workplace, please contact CCG today.