All of us are unique yet similar in some or the other way, like we are all humans but have a unique fingerprint, genetic framework etc. Our experiences, circumstances, level of intelligence and maturity, perspective, personality is what makes us different or similar to someone. Common phrases like “Birds of the same feather flock together” or “The fingers of the hands are not the same” are symbolic to this concept.
These same factors can be a reason for people to connect or have a conflict with each other. We have raged wars and fights in the past due to conflict over minor or major matters, such as the World War, Israel-Palestine conflict, etc. Thus, the positive aspect of these conflicts is that the people with the same driving motive connect with each other to resolve matters. At times, the conflict is as simple as the difference of perception of viewing the digit as 6 or 9, depending on the person’s placement.
The difference of opinion is good as it recognises the individual’s freedom to express them as they perceive experience and feel about a particular situation. Conflict on the other hand if not resolved amicably can lead to destructive consequences. There are two types of Individual conflict, which are explained below:-
Intra-individual conflict: It can arise in an individual when they hear different perceptual voices within themselves.
Inter-individual conflict: It arises within two or more individuals who disagree on the same topic or statement.
People may become involved in conflict due to the differences in opinion and the desire to express them. Thus, the conflicts among individuals are inevitable but dealing with these differences to avoid conflict is a skill that can be achieved overtime. Listed below are some techniques that can be used to deal with conflict.
Active Listening (Reality and Reasoning)
At times, listening to the reasons for the difference of opinions and validating the flipside perspective. It leads to a better understanding of circumstantial or fact based evidential reasoning between individuals. Thus, both sides feel that they have been heard, but finally end with a consensual solution.
Flexibility (Adapt or Accommodate)
When we work as a community, group, team, country etc., at times we have to take forward the needs, solutions, concerns of someone or everyone as a priority. The term for “greater good” or “better world for everyone” are phrases commonly used to project this concept? The drawback of being in such a situation is that one of the sides has to either adapt or accommodate themselves willingly or unwillingly to avoid conflict.
The key idea is to conceptualise that in certain situations letting go, putting things aside for some time is better. As brooding, fighting over the matter will either make matters worse or be a waste of time, resources etc. It is essential that both the parties mutually decide not to pursue it further and advocate peace. This technique requires patience, acceptance and maturity.
Empathy (Compassion & Collaboration)
It is a two-way process where both parties put effort and work together to come to a conclusion or resolve the issue. It’s not about who is right or wrong, it is more about finding what can be done together for optimal results. The focus is to spend time working on finding possible solutions rather than fighting over it.
Leadership (Dependence and Responsibility)
This is the difficult way of dealing with conflict as; at times one has to let the leader take charge of the situation. In the process, people may feel neglected or be subjugated to dependence on someone. It is important to keep in mind that this strategy should not be applied for all the conflicts.
With time, people come across challenges that can be possible breeding grounds for conflict or connecting for the cause of working together for a better tomorrow. Thus being aware and skilled with techniques to deal with conflict in small and scalable matters can be an asset.