September 5


Oops! Are You Skipping This Step in Conflict Resolution?

By Joshua Turner

September 5, 2023

Conflict resolution is an important process that is used to resolve disagreements between two or more parties. It involves a series of steps that are designed to help parties work through their differences and come to a mutually acceptable solution.

One of the most commonly used conflict resolution models is the Initiating Conflict Resolution Model, which includes several key steps. However, there is one step that is not included in this model.

The Initiating Conflict Resolution Model is a five-step process that is designed to help parties resolve their differences. The first step is to identify the problem, followed by determining the interests of each party, generating options for resolving the problem, evaluating the options, and finally, implementing the solution.

However, one step that is often mistakenly included in this model is the step of blaming or accusing the other party. This step is not part of the Initiating Conflict Resolution Model and should be avoided as it only serves to escalate the conflict.

Key Takeaways

Understanding Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is a process that involves managing and resolving disputes between two or more parties. It is an important skill that is necessary in both personal and professional settings. Conflict resolution strategies can help individuals and organizations to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and productive manner.

Conflict management involves identifying the sources of conflict, understanding the parties involved, and finding ways to resolve the issue.

Effective conflict resolution skills include active listening, empathy, and communication. These skills can help parties to understand each other’s perspectives and work towards a mutually beneficial solution.

One of the most important steps in initiating the conflict resolution model is identifying the parties involved. This involves understanding the nature of the conflict, the individuals or groups involved, and any underlying issues that may be contributing to the conflict.

Once the parties have been identified, it is important to establish open lines of communication to facilitate the resolution process.

Another important step in the initiating conflict resolution model is defining the problem. This involves clearly articulating the issues that are causing the conflict and identifying the root cause of the problem. Once the problem has been defined, it is important to work towards developing a solution that addresses the underlying issues and meets the needs of all parties involved.

The Initiating Conflict Resolution Model

The initiating conflict resolution model is a framework used to manage and resolve conflicts in a structured and effective way. It involves several steps that help parties involved in a conflict to identify the issue, communicate their concerns, and work towards a resolution.

The model typically involves the following steps:

  • Identifying the issue: This involves clearly defining the problem at hand and understanding the root cause of the conflict.
  • Gathering information: This step involves gathering relevant information about the conflict, including the parties involved, their concerns, and any other factors that may be contributing to the conflict.
  • Communicating concerns: This step involves open communication between the parties involved, where each party expresses their concerns and listens to the other party’s perspective.
  • Negotiating a resolution: This step involves finding a mutually acceptable solution that addresses the concerns of all parties involved.

However, it is important to note that implementing the resolution is not part of the initiating conflict resolution model. While it is important to follow through on the resolution agreed upon, it is not a step in the initiating conflict resolution model itself.

Effective conflict resolution and management requires a structured and collaborative approach, and the initiating conflict resolution model provides a useful framework to achieve this.

Misconceptions about Conflict Resolution

When it comes to conflict resolution, there are several misconceptions that people often have. One of the biggest misconceptions is that avoiding conflict altogether is the best approach.

While avoiding conflict may seem like the easiest solution, it can actually lead to more significant issues down the road. It’s essential to address conflicts head-on to prevent them from escalating.

Another misconception is that conflict resolution is all about finding a compromise that both parties can agree on. While finding a middle ground can be helpful, it’s not always the best solution. Sometimes, one party may be in the wrong, and it’s necessary to hold them accountable for their actions.

Finally, some people think that disagreement is always a bad thing. However, disagreements can be healthy and productive when handled correctly. It’s essential to listen to each other’s perspectives and work together to find a solution that benefits everyone involved.

Role of a Mediator in Conflict Resolution

A mediator is a neutral third party who helps parties in conflict to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication, identify issues, and help the parties to explore possible solutions. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the parties.

In conflict resolution, the mediator’s role is to guide the parties toward a resolution that is fair and acceptable to all. The mediator helps the parties to identify their interests, needs, and concerns and to find common ground. The mediator also helps the parties to communicate effectively and to understand each other’s perspectives.

The mediator’s role is to create an environment of trust and respect where the parties can express their views and feelings without fear of retaliation or judgment. The mediator helps the parties to focus on their common goals and interests and to find creative solutions that meet everyone’s needs.

Emotional Aspects of Conflict Resolution

Emotions play a significant role in conflict resolution. Tension, feelings, perception, and openness are all emotional aspects that can impact the resolution process.

Tension arises when one or both parties feel threatened or uncomfortable. It can cause individuals to become defensive and less open to finding a resolution. Acknowledging and addressing the tension can help create a more open and productive environment.

Feelings also play a crucial role in conflict resolution. It’s essential to recognize and validate each person’s emotions to build trust and understanding. By acknowledging feelings, individuals can work together to find a resolution that meets everyone’s needs.


Perception can impact how individuals approach conflict resolution. People may perceive the situation differently, and it’s crucial to understand each person’s perspective to find a resolution. Open communication and active listening can help clarify perceptions and lead to a more successful resolution.

Openness is essential in conflict resolution. It involves being willing to listen to the other person’s point of view and being open to finding a mutually beneficial solution. Openness can help build trust and create a more positive environment for conflict resolution.

Collaboration in Conflict Resolution

Collaboration is a crucial step in the conflict resolution process. It involves working together with the parties involved to find a mutually beneficial solution. This approach requires active listening, open communication, and a willingness to compromise.

When managing conflict, it’s important to understand that collaboration is not about winning or losing. Instead, it’s about finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs. This approach can lead to long-term solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Collaboration requires a high level of trust and respect between the parties involved. It’s essential to establish ground rules and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinions. This approach can lead to creative problem-solving and a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives.


In conclusion, conflict resolution is a complex process that requires a structured approach and a range of skills. It is crucial to avoid blaming or accusing the other party, as this only escalates the conflict.

Instead, effective conflict resolution involves identifying the parties involved, defining the problem, and developing a solution that meets the needs of all parties.

Mediators play a critical role in facilitating communication and helping parties find common ground. Emotional aspects, such as tension, feelings, perception, and openness, should be acknowledged and addressed during the resolution process. Lastly, collaboration is key to reaching mutually beneficial solutions.

By following these principles, conflicts can be managed and resolved in a manner that promotes understanding, respect, and cooperation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions that people ask.

Which management style involves resolving conflicts through assertive give-and-take?

The management style that involves resolving conflicts through assertive give-and-take is the collaborating style. It is a win-win approach where both parties work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.

What are the guidelines for developing political skills?

The guidelines for developing political skills include building relationships, understanding power dynamics, being aware of organizational culture, and developing effective communication skills. Political skills are essential for resolving conflicts in the workplace.

What is the first step in responding to conflict resolution?

The first step in responding to conflict resolution is to identify the problem. This involves understanding the situation, gathering information, and defining the issues. Once the problem has been identified, the parties involved can work towards finding a solution.

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