What should be included in a conflict management policy?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The entire concept of conflict management is based on the goal of creating a "win-win" outcome, a result in which all affected parties feel their concerns have been addressed and all feel satisfied with the solution(s) that have been developed. In order for this outcome to be achieved, specific steps are needed.

The first step is assessment. It is important to identify the actual problem, to gather information about the actual problem, to determine "which of the conflict-handling modes would be most appropriate for the situation."

Acknowledgement gives all involved parties the opportunity to express their side of the conflict with the expectation that the other side(s) are listening respectfully. The goal is to achieve an accurate understanding of the concerns and a realization of why these are concerns for the other side.

Addressing the attitudes of all sides in the conflict enhances communications by dealing with prejudices, stereotypical images, difficulties in communication methods or styles, or other extraneous factors that could interfere with the central process of dealing with the conflict.

The action step involves putting the "conflict-handling mode" previously selected into use. Having given all sides the opportunity to acknowledge their involvement and concerns and having worked out complications that could arise from communication difficulties, use of the mode chosen as most appropriate should allow all concerned to work constructively and respectfully, endeavoring to be sensitive to the needs of others while working to develop solutions that will meet the needs of all.

Finally, analysis of developed solutions allows for review, insuring that all sides are satisfied and that all needs have been addressed.

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