Principles of Purpose:  Resolve Conflict

Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.

PrefaceIntroductionTrusting Your GutUse Good Judgement
ListenRegulate EmotionsSet BoundariesBe Mindful
Practice ModerationManage ExpectationsResolve ConflictPlan Ahead
Have PatienceBe YourselfPractice AcceptanceBe Grateful
Manage Money

“Instead of suppressing conflicts, specific channels could be created to make this conflict explicit, and specific methos could be set up by which the conflict is resolved.”

Albert Low
Conflict Is Inevitable
Resolve Conflict.  By Robert Levasseur

Conflict in life is inevitable. Struggles with co-workers. Strife in a relationship. Bickering amongst siblings and other family members. Unresolved conflict can lead to a myriad of life issues: alcohol/substance abuse, physical conditions, and mental health problems as well.

Conflict can be anything from a simple disagreement or misunderstanding. Or, conflict can result in a major argument on an important subject such as finances. Whatever the conflict, leaving it unresolved can open the doorway to harboring negative feelings, resentments, escalating discord, etc.

Types and Causes of Conflict

In literature-as in life-there are 4 major conflicts:

Man vs. NatureMan vs. ManMan vs. SelfMan vs. Society
facing a conflict with external forces beyond your controlfacing a conflict between another human beingfacing a conflict within yourselffacing a conflict with the norms of society

Although these are postulated in literature, they are true in actual life as well. Working through conflict is a common theme in all great works of literature and, unless properly resolved, the conflict causes great harm to the main character(s) experiencing the conflict.

There are also 5 major areas of conflict we can experience at one time or another:

Relationship ConflictData ConflictInterest ConflictStructural ConflictValue Conflict
+strong emotions
+repetitive negative behavior
+lack of information
+differing views on data relevance
+differing interpretations
+perceived or actual conflict over interest
+procedural interests
+psychological interests
+unequal authority
+unequal control of resources
+time constraints
+different ways of life, ideology, world view, etc.
+different criteria for evaluating ideas
(Adapted from Christopher Moore, The Mediation Process, Third Ed. San Francisco (Jossey-Bass,2003)
Resolving Conflict
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There are a few steps we can take in order to resolve a conflict. Resolving conflict requires skills such as problem solving, being honest, speaking the truth, listening, forgiveness, understanding, and empathy to name a few.

  • Identify the problem
  • Identify feelings associated with conflict
  • Identify the impact of the problem
  • Decide whether to resolve conflict
  • Work for resolution of conflict

There is also a cool acronym for conflict resolution called R.E.S.O.L.V.E.

R-Reach Out–Come together with the person you are having a conflict with.
E-Engage In Conversation–Remain calm and remember to talk one at a time.
S-Seek to Solve the Problem–Agree to come up with sensible solutions you both can accept.
O-Open Up–Calmly communicate your side of the story to explain how you feel.
L-Listen Intently–listen to the other person so that you understand their point of view.
V-Voice Solutions–Brainstorm solutions to resolve your conflict together.
E-End on a Good Note–Agree to the solutions; give a compliment and shake hands.

Free Conflict Resolution Guide!
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