Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lindsay. Lindsay Wonders, “What is the best way to resolve conflict?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lindsay!
"He cut in front of me in line!" "She took the book I was going to read!" "The ball hit the line!" "No, it didn't!" "Yes, it did!" Do any of these things sound familiar? If you've been in a school or on a playground recently, then you've probably heard all sorts of arguments and disagreements like these.
From time to time, we all get angry or upset about various things. It's simply human nature. How we choose to behave when we're angry and how we respond to others when they're upset with us is very important. Our behavior can either make things better or worse.
Conflict is a natural part of everyday life. Resolving conflicts in a calm manner is an important skill that each person needs to learn in order to navigate life successfully. Let's look at some important things to keep in mind when a conflict arises.
When a conflict arises, emotions can take over quickly. It's important to take a step back and cool off. Do your best not to throw a tantrum, try not to raise your voice, and be careful not to be mean to others. These things won't solve anything and, in fact, they'll only make matters worse.
To reach a solution to your conflict, it's important to understand what the conflict is really about. You may think the conflict is about one thing, while someone else may have a completely different view of the situation. How can you figure out what's really going on? Communicate with each other!
Take turns expressing how you feel about what's going on. Don't place blame on others. Instead, talk about how you feel about things. Then truly listen while the others involved express how they feel. When everyone's feelings are out in the open, try to put yourself in the place of others to understand why they feel the way they do.
If everyone can see the issue from different points of view, it will be easier to work together toward finding a solution. It's very important to share your thoughts without interrupting other people or making judgments about their feelings. It can even help to repeat what they said in your own words, so you can be sure you understand where they're coming from.
Once everyone has a clear understanding of the problem, it's possible to focus together on finding a solution. It's often helpful to begin by brainstorming together to think of different resolutions to your conflict. Don't dismiss any possible solution at first, even things that seem ridiculous or unrealistic. The more choices you have to choose from, the easier it will be to choose a solution that satisfies everyone.
Unfortunately, not every conflict has an easy solution. Moreover, not every potential resolution will please everyone involved in the conflict. Some resolutions allow one group to get their way while another group still feels disappointed. Other resolutions might result in neither side getting what they want.
The best resolution, however, will be one that allows all parties involved to be happy with the way things get worked out. Experts call that a win/win situation, because both sides feel satisfied with the resolution and there's no "loser" in the battle. As you approach conflicts in the future, always try to seek out a win/win resolution to your conflict!