Tips For Self Resolution

Many conflicts can be self resolved. If you would like to give it a try, here are some helpful things to consider and a process for doing so.

Direct Communication


If there is no threat or history of physical violence talk directly to the person with whom you are having the conflict. Direct conversation is the most effective form of communication.

Plan Ahead


It is helpful to plan ahead and choose a time that will allow for a thorough discussion. Check with the other involved in the conflict and arrange a time that will work well for both of you. Try to talk some place where it is quiet and both of you can be comfortable and undisturbed for as long as you need. Think about what you will say ahead of time so you can use the most constructive approach.

Steps for When you Get Together


1 - Think of a constructive way to deal with the situation before you speak.

2 - Both of you need to agree to some ground rules:
• Agree to not interrupt each other
• Agree to no name calling or put downs
• Speak only for yourself and not the other person

3 - One person begins by telling his/her view of the situation using I-messages, **while the other person actively listens. *** (Find out about I-messages and active listening below.)

4 - The other person restates what they heard the problem is for the first person. (Steps 3 and 4 are repeated with the second person telling his/her view, and the first person restating.)

5 - Both of you suggest and list possible solutions.

6 - Both agree on a resolution by choosing from the list in step #5.

7 - How did it go? What might work better next time?

**An I-message has four parts:
• "I feel..." (state the feeling)
• "when you..." (describe the other person's behavior)
• "because..." (describe the results of the other person's behavior)
• "and I want..." (state what would correct the situation for you)

*** Ways to actively listen
• Clarify: get more information, ask questions.
• Restate: say in your own words what you heard the other person say, including their feelings.
• Encourage: use neutral or non-threatening words to help another person say more about the situation and how they feel.
If you were unable to resolve the issue, call the Dispute Resolution Center for help: 509.888.0957