The New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID) regularly provides trainings in basic mediation and family and divorce mediation. Typically, most people try to avoid conflict. Although conflict is natural and mostly inevitable, it’s a sign that something needs to be changed or improved. NYCID has offered six steps to help better manage and understand conflict.

Conflict can be healthy. It is an opportunity for growth and  better understanding of communication. Not only will this help clarify the problem, but it’s important to stay on track and organize your thoughts/feelings. Some factors that you may want to consider are: what triggered the conflict, who you’re angry with, why you’re angry, and how the conflict can be resolved.

Listen to understand what the other person(s) are saying. Work through your feelings, adhere to the specific problem or situation, and determine their impact. As you’re listening, try and imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes. Viewing the situation from the opposite side can be helpful. Consider how you feel, what makes you feel that way, why, and how the problem could be avoided in the future.

Avoid the power struggle between positions. After hearing both sides of the story, it’s important to move past the positioning dynamic. Of course, each party wants to be right, and it becomes difficult to maintain the upper hand in the argument or conflict. State calmly and clearly what you need, and why it has an effect on you. It is important to try and remain cool, calm, and collected while listening to both sides.

Own your part. Usually, conflicts are not one-sided. Own up to your mistakes, and consider what you could have done to prevent conflict.

Educate yourself. The best way to know how to handle a situation of conflict is to seize an opportunity to practice. The more knowledgeable you are on conflict diffusion, the easier conflicts will become.  

Seek Mediation. Consider NYCID’s Mediation Training. This way you can learn both the theory and practice the skills to better be able to manage both your own and other’s conflict. Seek Mediation. Learn more about NYCID’s Community-based, School-based and Workplace conflict resolution and mediation.

To discuss mediation services or scheduling a workshop, please contact Elizabeth Bonici, Assistant Director, Conflict Resolution Services. Tel: (718) 974-4036  Email: [email protected]