Conflict Resolution for Individuals & Organizations

Got humans? There will be conflict. If there isn’t, someone’s not expressing their needs. Differing opinions can make us nervous, but if we keep an open mind without getting defensive, we have the opportunity to see an issue from a different perspective. Read More…



This essay is a deep dive into the subject of conflict and the process of conflict resolution. It will provide you with more than a basic understanding.


Click on the image to read it.


See more articles at the bottom of this page that cover a range of skills that will help you communicate clearly, cleanly, and with compassion – all of which will help prevent conflict from arising because there will be fewer misunderstandings.

Direct & Clear Communication Will Decrease Conflict

Conflict Resolution is a broad topic with numerous layers and aspects.

Relational and procedural skills are interdependent. When both are present within a group, the result is effective communication.

In organizations, being organized and consistently following a set of processes and procedures, will result in fewer misunderstandings and therefore fewer disagreements.

In groups with members who are weak in relational, organizational, and process skills, the quality of meeting facilitation is usually also inadequate.

After years of observing various groups and organizations, those with the fewest conflicts were those with skilled leaders and facilitators. The people who ran the meetings were trained facilitators with an aptitude for the role, which included top-notch relational skills.

woman standing facilitating a meeting of four others
Assertiveness Skills are the foundation of direct and clear communication. All of the Relational Skills will help decrease the number of conflicts in your life and give you the skills to more easily resolve them.
teenagers in a group -hand and legs only

This broad-based set of skills that includes interpersonal elements of assertiveness, direct communication, solid boundaries, and empathic listening is augmented when a procedural skill set is also present – facilitation skills, organized process, following effective procedures, and utilizing resources.

Again, procedural skills strengthen relational skills and relational skills strengthen procedural skills.

In some ways they are inseparable. The definition of a good facilitator is someone with a solid base of both relational and procedural skills – someone who listens, has keen observation skills, and can manage their emotions. Someone who is also an organized thinker and presenter, and who uses appropriate procedural tools and techniques that benefit the group.

What to Know About Conflict Resolution

The secret to resolving conflicts and disagreements is for the two (or more) parties to fully understand the concerns of the other.

This isn’t just “their side of the argument.” Often when we “think” we understand the other party’s opinion, we simply see it as something we don’t agree with and we continue to try to explain our side of the situation and convince them to see it our way.

Most times, the other party does the same thing.

It’s no surprise that when both parties take that approach the result is a standoff.

The key is to use your listening and awareness skills to see what’s beyond the words.

When you tune in to the underlying feelings you will begin to make progress toward a resolution.

Conflict resolution isn’t about persuading, or winning the argument. That never works even if you have the best airtight argument.

Until you find out the underlying feelings of the other person, there won’t be movement.

Until one party taps into and then expresses their core emotion related to the issue of conflict, there won’t be the necessary shift that opens the door to a win-win solution.

Some degree of vulnerability is necessary. This is likely what makes some people shy away from a resolution process. But while avoiding conflict may sweep it under the rug temporarily, it doesn’t offer relief.

The setting and the process must facilitate safety. If it does, the participants will more easily open up. That vulnerability paves the way for authentic sharing. With patience, the process usually reveals one underlying emotion. And more often than not, the person who reveals the core feeling that had them locked into their position was not fully aware of it until the moment when they were finally able to express the simplicity of it.

While the conflict may originally seem complex and layered or even impossible, once the light shines onto the core emotional state, the confusion and complexity fall away.

When that person’s truth is revealed, the simplicity and vulnerability of it almost always facilitate a softening in the other party as they have a moment of insight. A moment when they “get” what’s going on for the other person, when they experience empathy and feel compassion for what was troubling that person. That’s the shift. And when it happens a resolution that works for both parties reveals itself. 

man and woman standing in conference room in confrontational stance

Martin Luther King, Jr. stated to a friend:


“The next movement is to
institutionalize & internationalize Nonviolence.”

Our goal is to help you
internalize Nonviolence.


Relational Skills help you do that.

We Must Do More Than Imagine Peace

Peace is not attainable with passive visioning.
Like sustaining democracy, it’s hard work.

❤️Imagine All the People❤️ active in their community, aware of what’s happening in the world, acting to neutralize the seeds of bullying, learning to resolve conflicts at home & at work, with skills to be good role models, speaking out for justice, expressing concerns to their elected reps, teaching children to not blindly follow but to think for themselves, be discerning and communicate assertively but with compassion.


Peace Needs All of Us.

facilitated group

Process and Procedures to Reduce Disagreements

​Following Consistent Process and Implementing Effective Procedures Will Reduce Disagreements

Conflicts can be resolved when you learn some techniques and follow certain guidelines.

Read the Conflict Resolution article at the top of this page. It will give you an excellent overview and show you how to learn about handling conflict.

manager points finger at one employee across table
women sitting at a conference table

A simple conflict resolution process:

  • The parameters are reviewed
  • Each person shares their concerns without interruption
  • At appropriate times the facilitator may ask a participant to reflect back what they heard 
  • As they feel comfortable participants share more specifically
  • As the process unfolds participants zero in on their core underlying issues and feelings
  • Often but not always, a shift happens 
  • Participants exhale and soften with understanding
  • New options are considered
  • New perspectives are gained
  • The original conflict is resolved or dissolves

The Nonviolent Communication Model

Nonviolent Communication is a model developed by Marshall Rosenberg that has been used successfully around the world for effective communication between individuals and between nations.

Learn more about Nonviolent Communication

group sitting close together in deep discussion

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