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Conflict resolution is an important skill to learn in life.  Starting in childhood, conflicts will arise on the playground, with friends and as we age we will find it handy to be able to resolve issues at work and within your family. Conflict resolution involves being empathetic, open to hearing all sides of the story and having the ability to negotiate and compromise with others in order to come to an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties.

In order to keep conflicts from becoming major ordeals, an individual must know and be able to work with a number of skills to direct the process to a resolution.  First, you need to use the skill of observation. In many cases a conflict arises because of differences in terms of what both sides involved need. You have to observe what threats each side is confronting and how these emotions are keeping their actions from being as useful as they should be.  For example, if a couple is getting divorced and children are involved, each side might want full custody of the children.  To successfully mediate this situation, one must observe where the children are most comfortable and safe and what the motivations of the parents are.  The issues need to be brought to the forefront at the outset of the discussion to arrive at a compromise. 

It is important that the individual is calm and controlled during the process. This includes being able to listen to the other side, watching that hostile, hurtful and defensive comments are not directed at the other side.

A major part of conflict resolution is having the ability to back down on your stance and compromise.  The individual might be extremely angry and hateful towards the other side, but one must realize that punishing the other side isn’t going to get them anywhere in the long run.  Individuals involved must be willing to try and satisfy the needs and desires of both sides and understand that the issue is not going to get resolved unless both sides are willing to give a little and compromise.

When at a complete stalemate, it can be helpful for individuals to create a useful “agree to disagree state”.  This works well to help control a dispute when there is something that two sides are just can’t see eye to eye on. This agreement allows both sides to move on and to focus on what they do actually agree on. It may make the relationship between two sides easier to handle.

A final necessary skill of conflict resolution is respect. It is easier to resolve a situation if you have some respect for the issues the other side is presenting. This includes understanding and having empathy for the feelings of the people one is arguing with.

To learn more about how to handle high conflict situations, along with controlling your stress and anger levels, taking an online anger management course can be extremely beneficial. Classes are easy to take from any internet based computer from the privacy and comfort of your own home, and are low in cost.  They are available online 24/7, so the client can log-in and out at their convenience.  Classes will teach how to focus on the present and how to put yourself in the other’s shoes when trying to negotiate a settlement.  The goal is to learn how to maintain your calm, and understand how to work with other people with your anger in check so that everyone is comfortable. 

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