TUG OF WAR
How many of you play tug of war in your daily life?
Tug of war is a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.
We may not be playing this game physically with the people around us . However mentally we all go through a tug of war with different kinds of people around us. Sometimes it is between nations, sometimes it is between religions, sometimes it is between different beliefs. Most often these kinds of tug of wars which are usually for power, position, wealth or fame impacts our lives negatively causing pain and suffering.
We deal with conflicts everyday in our life. Conflicts can be constructive or destructive. Be it school, workplace, home or even outdoors. We may not be able to solve all the conflicts in the world. However, is there a solution to resolve conflicts that happen in our daily lives?
Today I am going to share with you all 4 simple conflict resolution strategies that we can apply in our daily lives to be more happier and peaceful in Life.
Strategy 1 : The first strategy is “Self-awareness” . This involves coming to awareness of the negative emotional states in a conflict. It emerges due to perceived differences to get the needs done according to one party’s wish or for gaining control on the other party.
Let me give an example — As a part of my role in my workplace, I have to find defects in the product and report them to the team which includes developers who worked hard to implement the ideas into the product. This process involves pointing to the problems with the code that impacts the product. Being self-aware during such situations has helped me to stay calm and accept that negative impacts could arise from reporting the problems.
After becoming self-aware, the next strategy involves self-preparation.
Strategy 2 :
Self-preparation involves taking complete responsibility for your emotional state and understanding that you own your emotions rather than believing others behaviors affect your emotions. The key to doing this is to look at the conflict in an objective way by separating people from the problem. People have feelings and need to be treated as human beings but understanding through compassion that they are not the problem can help us disassociate the problem from the people. To give an example — In my workplace, i had a coworker who always considered me as a competitor and would oppose everything that was presented by me.It was initially hard for me to deal with conflicts when i took the problems personally with emotions. However, when i started responding by taking charge of my emotions and looking at solving the problem rather than the person, i was able to respond positively and effectively
Having made self-preparation, the next stage is Conflict reduction.
Strategy 3 :
Conflict reduction involves applying reflective listening capabilities to listen to the other person’s viewpoint, clarifying your understanding and then sharing your own viewpoint. This process helps to clarify similarities and differences in opinion. In a particular instance, during a team meeting, the same coworker who considered me as a competitor, blamed me for taking more time to complete a task that he believed was causing delay in product delivery. I listened to him completely without being emotional. This helped me to understand the reason for his concern and deliver my response with facts and numbers that helped him to understand my part of reality and apologize for the blame.
The last stage in the conflict resolution process is called the Negotiation phase.
Strategy 4 : Negotiation phase involves arriving at a mutually acceptable solution that satisfies both the parties. This process requires applying problem-solving mindset to help arrive at a solution that helps solve the problem in an amicable manner. The general interest of both parties plays a major role in determining the problem solution. In the previous example with my coworker both our intention was to maintain and improve product quality but the aspects that were looked at were from different perspectives. So arriving at an agreement by highlighting the general interest can help arriving at the solution faster and resolve conflicts.
In conclusion, as there are many minds in this world, there are different personalities who have their own shortcomings that are the result of upbringing, environment and many other uncontrollable factors. By being self-aware, prepared, using active listening and problem solving we can resolve conflicts in our lives to an extent by letting go of our ego and collaborating with compassion. Problems exist in our minds and not in People.