September 5


Get it Right: Create Order with this Order of Problem-Solving Steps

By Joshua Turner

September 5, 2023

Conflicts are a part of life, and they can arise in any setting, be it personal or professional. The ability to resolve conflicts effectively is an essential skill that can make a big difference in our lives.

However, the process of conflict resolution is not always straightforward, and it can be challenging to know which steps to take in the right order.

To begin with, understand what conflict is and how it arises. Conflict is a situation where two or more parties have different opinions, ideas, or goals that are incompatible with each other.

Conflict can arise due to various reasons, such as misunderstandings, differences in personality, or competition for resources. Understanding the nature of conflict is the first step toward resolving it effectively.

Once we understand the nature of conflict, we can move on to the various conflict resolution strategies. There are several strategies that one can use to resolve conflicts, such as compromising, collaborating, accommodating, avoiding, or competing.

Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right strategy depends on the situation. By understanding the different conflict resolution strategies, we can choose the right one for the situation and resolve conflicts effectively.

Key Takeaways

Understanding Conflict

Conflict is a natural part of human interaction, and it can arise from a variety of sources, including differences in values, opinions, and beliefs.

Conflict can also arise from misunderstandings or miscommunications, as well as from more tangible issues such as resource allocation or power struggles.

Understanding the causes of conflict is an important first step in resolving it. By identifying the underlying issues that are driving the conflict, it is possible to develop strategies for addressing these issues in a constructive and collaborative manner.

Differences in values and beliefs are a common source of conflict, as people often have deeply held convictions that are not easily changed.

However, it is possible to find common ground by focusing on shared values and goals and by working together to find solutions that are acceptable to all parties.

Effective conflict resolution also requires the ability to communicate effectively and to listen actively. By taking the time to understand the perspectives of others, it is possible to find common ground and identify areas of agreement.

The key to resolving conflict is to approach it with a spirit of openness and collaboration. By working together to identify the underlying issues and to develop solutions that are acceptable to all parties, it is possible to resolve even the most challenging conflicts in a constructive and positive manner.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

When it comes to resolving conflicts, there are several strategies that can be employed. These strategies can be categorized into five main types: avoiding, accommodating, compromising, collaborating, and negotiating.


Avoiding is a conflict resolution strategy that involves ignoring or withdrawing from the conflict. This can be an effective strategy when the issue at hand is not important or when the conflict is too emotionally charged to be resolved at the moment. However, avoiding can also be a negative strategy if used too often, as it can lead to the conflict becoming more entrenched.


Accommodating is a conflict resolution strategy that involves giving in to the other party’s demands. This can be an effective strategy when the issue at hand is not important to you and when maintaining a good relationship with the other party is more important.

However, accommodating can also be a negative strategy if used too often, as it can lead to the other party taking advantage of you.


Compromising is a conflict resolution strategy that involves finding a middle ground between the two parties. This can be an effective strategy when both parties have important but incompatible goals. However, compromising can also be a negative strategy if the middle ground reached is not satisfactory to either party.


Collaborating is a conflict resolution strategy that involves working together to find a solution that satisfies both parties goals. This can be an effective strategy when both parties have important goals that are not incompatible.

However, collaborating can also be a negative strategy if one party dominates the process or if the process takes too long.


Negotiation is a conflict resolution strategy that involves bargaining to find a solution that satisfies both parties goals. This can be an effective strategy when both parties have important but incompatible goals. However, negotiation can also be a negative strategy if one party has more power than the other or if the process becomes too confrontational.

Role of Listening in Conflict Resolution

Listening is a critical component of conflict resolution. It involves paying attention to what the other person is saying, both verbally and non-verbally, and making a genuine effort to understand their perspective.

Effective listening requires more than just hearing the words; it involves being attentive to body language, tone of voice, and emotional cues.

When we listen actively, we show that we care about the other person’s feelings and opinions. This can help to build trust and create a safe space for resolving conflicts. By listening attentively, we can gain a better understanding of the other person’s needs and concerns, which can help us to find mutually beneficial solutions.

Body language is an important aspect of listening. It can convey a lot of information about a person’s emotions and intentions. By paying attention to body language, we can gain insights into how the other person is feeling and respond appropriately.

The tone of voice is another important factor to consider when listening. The tone of voice can convey emotions such as anger, frustration, or sadness. By listening to the tone of voice, we can gain a better understanding of the other person’s emotional state and respond accordingly.


Emotional intelligence is also crucial when it comes to listening. It involves being aware of our own emotions and those of others and using this information to guide our behavior. By practicing emotional intelligence, we can create a more positive and productive environment for conflict resolution.

Importance of Agreement

Agreement is a crucial step in conflict resolution. It helps to establish a common goal and a sense of unity among the parties involved. Without an agreement, conflicts can escalate and become more difficult to resolve.

When parties agree on a common goal, they are more likely to work toward a solution that benefits everyone involved. This creates a sense of unity and cooperation, which can help to build trust and improve communication between the parties.

Agreement also helps to ensure that everyone’s needs and interests are taken into account. By reaching a mutual understanding, parties can identify areas of compromise and work towards a solution that meets everyone’s needs.

Leadership and Conflict Management

When it comes to conflict resolution, leadership plays a crucial role in managing and resolving conflicts. Effective leaders can identify potential conflicts and take proactive measures to prevent them from escalating.

They can also create a positive work environment that encourages open communication and collaboration, which can help prevent conflicts from arising in the first place.

Leaders can also use various conflict resolution techniques, such as mediation and negotiation, to resolve conflicts that do occur. By remaining neutral and impartial, leaders can help parties find common ground and reach a mutually beneficial solution.

One key aspect of effective conflict management is communication. Leaders must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with all parties involved in a conflict.

This involves active listening, asking open-ended questions, and providing constructive feedback. Leaders should also encourage all parties to express their opinions and concerns and work towards finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs.

Another important aspect of leadership in conflict management is setting clear expectations and boundaries. Leaders should establish clear guidelines for behavior and communication and hold all parties accountable for adhering to them.

They should also be willing to make difficult decisions when necessary, such as removing employees who are causing conflicts or disrupting the work environment.

Building Better Relationships Through Conflict Resolution

When it comes to conflict resolution, building better relationships is a crucial step. By resolving conflicts in a healthy way, you can establish trust and strengthen the foundation of your relationship.

One way to build better relationships through conflict resolution is to focus on active listening. This means truly hearing what the other person is saying and understanding their perspective. By doing so, you can show empathy and validate their feelings, which can go a long way in improving the relationship.

Another important step is to avoid blame and criticism. Instead of pointing fingers, try to identify the root cause of the conflict and work together to find a solution. This can help create a sense of teamwork and collaboration, which can ultimately lead to a healthier relationship.


Finally, it’s important to be open and honest with each other. By communicating openly and transparently, you can establish trust and build a strong foundation for your relationship. This means being willing to share your thoughts and feelings, even if they are difficult to express.

Role of a Mediator

A mediator is a neutral third party who facilitates communication and negotiation between parties in conflict. The mediator’s role is to help the parties identify the issues, explore possible solutions, and reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Mediators do not make decisions or impose solutions; instead, they guide the parties toward finding their own solutions. They do this by creating a safe and respectful environment for communication, actively listening to each party’s concerns, and helping them to communicate effectively with each other.

Mediation is a voluntary process, and the mediator’s role is to ensure that both parties participate fully and are comfortable with the process. The mediator encourages the parties to be open and honest with each other and to focus on finding common ground rather than on their differences.

Threats in Conflict Resolution

Threats are often used in conflict resolution to gain leverage or force the other party to comply. However, using threats can escalate the conflict and make the situation worse. It is important to approach threats carefully and consider the potential consequences.

One way to handle threats is to acknowledge them and address the underlying concerns. By understanding the other party’s perspective, you can find common ground and work towards a mutually beneficial solution.

Another approach is to de-escalate the situation by remaining calm and avoiding retaliatory threats. This can help to diffuse the tension and create a more productive environment for resolving the conflict.

It is also important to consider the severity of the threat and the potential harm it could cause. If the threat is serious or poses a risk to safety, it may be necessary to involve law enforcement or other authorities.

Identifying the Root of the Problem

When it comes to conflict resolution, it’s important to start by identifying the root of the problem. This means understanding what is causing the conflict in the first place. It’s easy to get caught up in surface-level issues, but taking the time to dig deeper can help you find a more effective solution.

One way to identify the root of the problem is to ask questions. By asking open-ended questions, you can encourage the parties involved to share their perspectives and feelings. This can help you get a better understanding of the situation and what is causing the conflict.

Another approach is to use a cause-and-effect diagram. This is a visual tool that can help you identify the underlying causes of a problem. By breaking down the problem into smaller parts and analyzing each one, you can get a better understanding of what is causing the conflict.

Finally, it’s important to be objective when identifying the root of the problem. It’s easy to get caught up in our own biases and assumptions, but taking a step back and looking at the situation objectively can help us see things more clearly.


By being objective, we can avoid making the situation worse and find a solution that works for everyone involved.

Assertiveness in Conflict Resolution

Assertiveness is a crucial step in conflict resolution as it involves standing up for your own rights and expressing your needs and opinions in a clear and respectful manner. Being assertive means being confident and direct without being aggressive or passive.

To be assertive, use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. This means focusing on your own feelings and needs rather than blaming or attacking the other person. For example, instead of saying, “You always interrupt me,” you could say, “I feel frustrated when I am interrupted.”

Another important aspect of assertiveness is active listening. This means not only hearing what the other person is saying but also understanding their perspective and acknowledging their feelings. It is important to show empathy and validate their emotions, even if you don’t agree with their point of view.

Assertiveness can also involve setting boundaries and being willing to compromise. It is important to be clear about what you are willing and not willing to accept while also being open to finding a mutually beneficial solution. This can involve brainstorming ideas and finding common ground.

Impact of Conflict Resolution on Productivity

Conflict resolution can have a significant impact on productivity in the workplace. When conflicts are not resolved efficiently, it can lead to a decrease in productivity and morale among employees. However, when conflicts are resolved in a timely and effective manner, it can lead to increased productivity and a more positive work environment.

One way conflict resolution can impact productivity is by reducing the amount of time and energy employees spend on dealing with conflicts.

When conflicts are left unresolved, employees may spend a significant amount of time and energy thinking about the conflict, discussing it with others, and trying to find a resolution. This can take away from the time and energy they could be spending on their work, resulting in decreased productivity.

Another way conflict resolution can impact productivity is by improving morale among employees. When conflicts are resolved in a positive and respectful manner, it can lead to a more positive work environment and improved relationships among employees. This can help to boost morale, which can, in turn, lead to increased productivity.

Conflict Resolution Training

Conflict resolution is a skill that can be learned and improved through training. The first step in conflict resolution training is to understand the different types of conflict and how they can be resolved. This can be done through workshops, seminars, or online courses.

During conflict resolution training, participants learn effective communication skills, active listening techniques, and negotiation strategies. They also learn how to identify the underlying causes of conflicts and how to address them in a constructive manner.

One important aspect of conflict resolution training is role-playing exercises. These exercises allow participants to practice their newly acquired skills in a safe and controlled environment. By simulating real-life scenarios, participants can learn how to handle conflicts in a calm and professional manner.


In conclusion, conflict resolution is a complex process that requires understanding, effective communication, and the application of appropriate strategies. It starts with understanding the nature of conflict and its underlying causes.

By employing different conflict resolution strategies, such as compromising, collaborating, or negotiating, conflicts can be addressed effectively. Active listening plays a vital role in conflict resolution by fostering empathy and understanding.

Agreement and finding common ground are essential for reaching mutually beneficial solutions and building better relationships. Strong leadership is crucial in managing and resolving conflicts, creating a positive work environment, and setting clear expectations.

Mediators play a valuable role in facilitating communication and negotiation. Threats should be handled carefully, and the root of the problem should be identified to find lasting solutions.

Assertiveness is important in expressing needs and opinions respectfully. Conflict resolution positively impacts productivity by reducing time spent on conflicts and improving employee morale.

Conflict resolution training equips individuals with the necessary skills to navigate conflicts successfully. Overall, effective conflict resolution promotes harmony, collaboration, and productivity in personal and professional settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about this topic.

What are the steps to manage conflict?

The four steps to manage conflict are: identify the problem, listen actively, brainstorm solutions, and choose the best solution.

What is the correct order of the decision-making steps?

The correct order of the decision-making steps is: to identify the decision to be made, gather information, identify alternatives, weigh the evidence, choose the best alternative, take action, and evaluate the decision.

Which of these are refusal skills?

Saying no, walking away, and changing the subject are examples of refusal skills.

Why is assertive communication an effective strategy?

Assertive communication is an effective strategy because it allows individuals to express their needs and feelings without attacking or belittling others. It helps to establish clear boundaries and promotes mutual respect.

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