************* Conflict is simply a competitive or opposing action of incompatibles. A situation in which someone believes that his or her own needs have been denied.
Each human being is unique yet all have basic needs. Physical Survival (Air, food, shelter, personal safety) Love and Belonging(Family, friends, sports, club activities, etc.) Power and Achievement(Accomplishing difficult tasks, competition) Freedom(Choices) Fun(Go to a movie, shop, listen to music, use an IPAD)
In the process of having our needs met we: Encounter negative feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment, embarrassment and sadness, while uncomfortable are really okay. It is however the way we react to these feelings that can cause conflict.
Words and Actions Demonstrate both our needs and our feelings to others.
The Power of Words: Our choice of words can escalate or diffuse any conflict situation. You can use kind words or unkind words and lose all self- control.
Body Language: When you are angry, you look angry, you act angry. Your brows are drawn, your eyes are glaring, you are telling everyone that you are angry and they had better get out your way.
Your tone will : Always speak louder than you words.
It is Important to remember that: Each and every one of us encounters conflict on an almost daily basis, it is a common occurrence in this journey we call life. Dealing with conflict then is an essential task we need to master Students especially need to learn how to handle conflict constructively so that they can be productive members of society as adults.
Conflict Resolution Is: The process of ending a conflict, dispute or disagreement between two or more people in a constructive fashion for all parties involved.
Why is it Important for Teachers to Know about Conflict Resolution ? The classroom is a complex environment that lends itself to a variety of conflicts including conflicts between two or more students and conflicts between the teacher and one or more students. If students do not know appropriate strategies for handling conflicts it can lead to more problems and possibly violence. Some students bring learned negative behaviors from home to school, and this can impact the incidence of aggression in the classroom. Teachers can however, have a positive influence on how students deal with conflict by teaching conflict resolution strategies.
The teacher- the peacemaker The goal for teachers is two-fold: to peacefully resolve problems in the classroom for the benefit of all students and to help students develop skills to resolve their own conflicts. While the strategies teachers use will depend on the students' grade level, there are basic principles involved in conflict resolution techniques.
First: Listen To Both Sides After a conflict occurs, calm down the students to avoid any more flair-ups. Once things have settled down, identify the students involved in the conflict. Ask them, one at a time, to give their version of the events that led up to the conflict. This will help establish a timeline of events for you. Listen closely to what students have to say and try not to interrupt them, except to ask questions for clarification. Avoid jumping to conclusions or forming opinions before hearing everything that each student has to say.student
Second: Remain Neutral Repeat each students' version of the events. Ask those involved if you are correctly telling their viewpoint. In doing this, students will know that you were listening to what they were saying without being partial and without overreacting to what they said.
Third: Find Ways to Resolve the Conflict After everyone has had a chance to speak, move forward to determine how to resolve the conflict. Ask the question, "What can we do to resolve the problem?" Students who feel they have been wronged, may want to see another student punished. As the teacher and mediator, you can guide them into acknowledging the feelings and viewpoints of others and offer ideas that would help prevent the situation from occurring again. If students are still angry or refuse to see another's viewpoint, you may have to offer ideas of your own to get them to join in the conversation of coming up with solutions
Fourth: Don't Forget To Follow Up Once the situation is resolved, it's easy to go back to the classroom routine and forget that it ever happened. However, it is important that you follow up on the situation to make sure students are carrying out the ideas that were agreed upon to resolve the conflict. If the conflict had to be reported to a school administrator, stress to students how important it is to make sure situations do not get out of hand and result in having to face unexpected, and possibly severe consequences.classroom
Conflict Resolution for Grownups : Rules of the game the same. Conflict is still an antagonistic state or action, a fight, a battle, basically a disagreement.
Conflict Resolution Skills for Healthy Relationships First: Get In Touch With Your Feelings- An important component of conflict resolution involves only you -- knowing how you feel and why you feel that way. It may seem that your feelings should already be obvious to you, but this is not always the case. Sometimes we feel angry or resentful, but do not know why.
Second: Hone Your Listening Skills – When it comes to effective conflict resolution, how effectively we listen is at least as important as how effectively we express ourselves. It’s vital to understand the other person’s perspective, rather than just our own, if we are to come to a resolution. In fact, just helping the other person feel heard and understood can sometimes go a long way toward the resolution of a conflict.
Third: Practice Assertive Communication - Communicating your feelings and needs clearly is also an important aspect of conflict resolution. Saying the wrong thing can be like throwing fuel on a fire. The important thing to remember is to say what is on your mind in a way that is clear and assertive, without being aggressive or putting the other person on the defensive.
Fourth: Seek a Solution – Once you understand the other person’s perspective, and they understand yours, it’s time to find a solution you both can live with. Sometimes it is a simple answer, sometimes a simple apology can work wonders, and an open discussion can bring people closer together. Other times, there is a little more work required.
Fifth: Know When It’s Not Working - Because of the toll that ongoing conflict can cause it is wise to reflect on an alternative measures. In cases of abuse, personal safety needs to take priority. When dealing with difficult family members, adding a few boundaries can bring some peace. In friendships that are unsupportive or characterized by ongoing conflict, letting go may be a great source of stress relief. Only you can decide if a relationship can be improved, or should be let go.
Lastly: It is very important that both people are willing to forgive and forget. Remember to take some time to reaffirm the friendship. Acknowledge that you are glad that the two of you could work through the problem together. Extend your gratitude, shake hands, or even better, share a friendly hug.
Contact Information: Pilar Janis, Lead / Higher Education Counselor Guidance and Counseling