Etiquette of Dealing with Conflict

Women discussing an issue.
Problem solving even within the family is a skill to be learned. Getty Images/Stone

Communication is essential in relationships of all types, from personal and family to business. You need to be courteous and respect others in order to communicate successfully. 

One common cause for the breakdown of communication between friends, within families or among coworkers is the introduction of conflict or a difficulty. In these instances, the the person should desire to resolve the conflict and move on as quickly as possible in order to resume a right relationship with any and all of those involved.

Others will recognize you as a fair-minded, logical communicator with leadership qualities when you take control in resolving conflicts within relationships.

Here are some principles for solving problems you can use in your every day life in order to get along, influence and communicate better within your sphere of influence:

Understand and Accept the Need for Conflict Resolution

It is important that you have a conviction or belief about why this particular conflict is unhealthy and unnecessary and needs to be dealt with immediately. It is true that some amount of conflict may be needed in certain situations in order to facilitate or cause change.

For instance, if your teenage daughter continuously oversleeps and causes the house to be in a frenzied state before work and school, perhaps choosing to allow some healthy conflict will cause her to change her behavior. How about letting her deal with some consequences such as a family that is disappointed in her lack of respect for everyone else and has determined to let her know that they find her constant tardiness to be rude behavior.

On the other hand, most conflict is destructive and disruptive and should be dealt with immediately. Is the conflict causing discord in the workplace? Is the problem effecting productivity? Make up your mind and determine why this is a problem to be handled immediately and proceed from there.

Know That Conflict May Not be All Bad

Decide what good, if any, can or has come from the conflict and use that to increase your knowledge of human relationships and communication.

Often times there is a lot of emotional growth as a result of conflict.

Start with Your Own Issues

You don't want to attempt to resolve a conflict having ulterior motives. Be clear within your own mind about why you feel it is important to restore the relationship and examine your heart and motives. Ask yourself what role you played in the conflict and deal honestly with your own feelings, failures and faults.

Forgive and be Forgiven

Pride will prove to be a stumbling block to reconciliation every time. Be sure to be transparent in your communication, speak truth, listen to the needs and perceptions of the others and relate that you understand by restating their concerns and needs.

Face the Issues

It may be difficult to deal with a problem head on, but this is the only way to move on. If the attempt at reconciliation is marked by shallow apologies and vague references, there will be no real resolution. State the actual problem and then deal with ways to overcome the difficulty.

If your coworker constantly does the bare minimum at work, causing you to carry more than your fair share of the workload, it is important to let him or her know that this is causing a problem with how you respect or perceive him or her and that you are becoming resentful of his or her lackadaisical attitude toward the bottom line at work.

Handling this issue sooner rather than later will enable you to communicate in a polite manner. If you wait, things might get ugly.

Don't Nitpick

Determine whether this is a real problem rather than a mere annoyance. If you consider the situation carefully and recognize that this conflict is really just a difference of opinion, you may want to just let it pass. Work on changing your mind about the situation and recognize that people have little quirks and differences, but this is definitely not a cause for major conflict and disharmony.

Solving problems is definitely something that the well mannered person wants to be known for doing well. As leaders in the social setting, you want others to see that you are a level-headed thinker versus emotional responder to whatever life may present. As you go through life you will find that people will respect you and your opinions and see you as a person they can trust to be fair and honest.


Edited by Debby Mayne