CONFLICT RESOLUTION Basic Aid - Singapore Institute of ... ... Conflict Resolution Basic Skills ¢â‚¬¢

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    Basic Aid

  • Contents

    • Understanding Conflict

    • The Effects of Conflict

    • First Steps to Managing Conflict

    • Time to Reflect

    • Conflict Resolution Basic Skills

    • Negotiation Tips

    • Getting Help

  • Understanding Conflict

    • Conflict is often described as a serious disagreement or argument, whether internally, within ourselves, or between two or more persons.

    • It could be characterised by differing opinions, values, expectations and motivations, interests, opposing needs and wants.

    • While we may not be able to avoid and prevent conflict all the time, how we manage conflict is just as important.

  • The Effects of Conflict

    • Conflict creates negative tension, which can result in strained relationships, causing stress, anxiety and even frustration and anger.

    • Conflict could drain a person’s energy when it is prolonged with no resolution or peaceful closure to the situation or matter at hand.

    • When this happens, it could affect a person’s ability to perform at school or at work.

  • First Steps to Managing Conflict

    • Keep calm. Take a deep breath and remember that you are able to be calm and think about your own appropriate response to the matter.

    • Discuss one issue at a time.

    • Remain focused on the facts of the matter and consider how things can be resolved in a positive manner.

    • Do not use any degrading or abusive language. Express your feelings with positive words and take responsibility for them.

    • Take turns to talk and listen. You may learn something from each other.

  • First Steps to Managing Conflict

    Other tips include:

    • Practise non-judgement. Accept and respect that individual opinions differ.

    • Do not force a person to agree with you and/or do as you say.

    • Attempt to come to a compromise or an understanding.

    • If you are too upset or angry, it may be wiser to walk away to cool down and reflect before returning to resolve the situation.

  • Time to Reflect

    • Take some time out to reflect on what has happened and the nature of the conflict.

    • Map out the conflict. Write down the sequence of events, and, if any, the measures taken then to help the situation.

    • Review these actions – what worked and what did not work.

    • Ask yourself if this disagreement really matters to your relationship and decide to move forward or not.

    • Consider the possible outcomes which you would like.

  • Time to Reflect

    • Journal ways in which you think could resolve the conflict in a peaceful and positive manner.

    • Share your thoughts and ideas with a trusted friend, lecturer, mentor or counsellor.

    • Seek assistance, where a neutral facilitator/mediator (for example, a student counsellor or a lecturer) could help in bringing together those involved to resolve the conflict.

  • Time to Reflect

    Some questions to reflect and consider:

    • “What is the underlying reason for my anger or disturbance over the matter/person at hand?”

    • “How did I react/respond to the situation/person? Was it helpful or more destructive?”

    • “How did I communicate – passively, aggressively or assertively?”

    • “What could I have done differently? Knowing this, how can I move forward to resolve the matter?”

  • Conflict Resolution Basic Skills

    • Take steps to learn how to manage your emotions.

    • When there is a conflict, focus on the problem, not the person.

    • Use reflective listening – listen to understand, to get a clear picture and not to retort back.

    • Practise empathy – our ability to understand what another person is experiencing from within this person's point of view.

    • Be clear and use ‘I’ statements. For example, “I get upset when you keep cutting me off in a meeting. Shall we take turns to speak so all our views are shared and heard?”

  • • Communicate your thoughts and feelings in an appropriate, assertive manner. No blaming. (For more information on communication, download Positive Communication Basic Aid.)

    • Know when to take a time-out if things get too heated. The goal is to come together on common ground with collaborative individuals.

    • Set another time and place to meet again to discuss the situation or matter at hand.

    • Think positively and creatively – the conflict does not always have to be a problem, you could turn it into opportunities and possibilities.

    Conflict Resolution Basic Skills

  • Conflict Resolution Basic Skills

    • Brainstorm together and negotiate to find a win-win solution or a compromise.

    • Recognise each person’s needs and differences and be open to adapting to the situation for collective, positive outcomes.

    • Explore best and worst options, and/or outcomes, to find a suitable, acceptable way forward.

  • Tips for Positive Negotiation

    • Prepare and plan what you would like to discuss if there was a time set to meet again.

    • Find a suitable location and consider seating arrangements, for example, sitting in a circle together which creates a sense of inclusiveness.

    • Focus on the needs to be resolved, future positive outcomes and emphasise common ground.

    • Lay down the ground rules for positive, appropriate behaviours.

    • Call out any negative behaviour – address the behaviour, not the person.

  • Tips for Positive Negotiation

    • Be positive and creative in coming up with alternative ideas and options.

    • Be clear about goals and agreements.

    • Remember to respond, not react. It helps to adopt an objective and supportive approach.

    • Allocate time for breaks if the meeting or discussion takes some time. This allows everyone time to refresh and collect themselves.

  • Getting Help

    • Speak to a trusted person, who you think is mature and level- headed, for guidance and advice.

    • This person could be a student leader, mentor, programme director, lecturer, staff or a student counsellor.

    • You could make an appointment to see a student counsellor. This is free and confidential. Email:

  • End.