A superabundance of books on conflict resolution clog library and bookstore shelves. I guess the superabundance of conflicts today triggered the superabundance of books to help folks resolve their conflicts.
Here’s a mini-course on conflict resolution I found on Helpguide.org. Of course it’s not as simple as this. You could probably find a barrel full of books written about each of these suggestions. But it’s a start.
- Make understanding the priority rather than winning or “being right”
- Listen to the other person’s feelings, in addition to their words
- Focus on the present rather than the past
- Be willing to let go of resentment
- Be willing to agree to disagree and move on
- Use appropriate humor to reduce tension and anger
Paul gives us a 7th way to resolve conflicts, and in my book, the best way. In Philippians Paul writes,
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Do I follow Paul’s method? No, not as often as I’d like. But if I did, regardless how my co-arguee (is co-arguee a word?) chose to handle the conflict, could I be contributing to the resolution? Do you think?
If both arguees choose to apply Paul’s method in a disagreement, I think we’d all significantly reduce conflicts. Don’t you?