Conflict Resolution Approach

Posted by Tom Locke on August 26th, 2011 filed in Business, Life

One theory put forward on conflict resolution is IBR, the “Interest-Based Relational” Approach.  This approach recommends the following rules:

 Make sure that good relationships are the first priority: As far as possible, make sure that you treat the other person calmly and that you try to build mutual respect. Do your best to be courteous to one-another and remain constructive under pressure;
• Keep people and problems separate: Recognize that in many cases the other person is not just “being difficult” – real and valid differences can lie behind conflictive positions. By separating the problem from the person, real issues can be debated without damaging working relationships;
• Pay attention to the interests that are being presented: By listening carefully you’ll most-likely understand why the person is adopting his or her position;
• Listen first; talk second: To solve a problem effectively you have to understand where the other person is coming from before defending your own position;
• Set out the “Facts”: Agree and establish the objective, observable elements that will have an impact on the decision; and
• Explore options together: Be open to the idea that a third position may exist, and that you can get to this idea jointly.

By following these rules, you can often keep contentious discussions positive and constructive. This helps to prevent the antagonism and dislike which so often causes conflict to spin out of control.

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