When a conflict arises between people, between a person and an organization or between two organizations, conflict resolution is called for. Conflict resolution is an umbrella terms that covers may different methods that can be used to resolve the conflict. While everything a person does toward ending the conflict, no matter how unfortunate, is technically a form of conflict resolution, the best choices are a structured type of resolution designed to bring the answer peacefully and amicably.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Today, conflict resolution is also commonly called ADR which stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The terms mean the same thing, but ADR is a newer term used interchangeably with conflict resolution when referring to the formal methods of resolving a dispute.
Stay Out of Court
Formal conflict resolution like mediation or arbitration is often used to help keep the matter out of the court system. If two parties cannot agree on something and one or both want to file a lawsuit to have their will forced up on the other, conflict resolution can often keep this from happening. The aim is to resolve the conflict so that no one has to go to court at all, and an agreement can be reached without that expense or time spent.
Common Types of Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution is often commonly practiced in schools to help stem things like bullying, school violence and sexual harassment. Teaching kids conflict resolution can help them develop into adults that don’t solve problems with their fists or litigation, but with other methods of reaching an agreement. Sometimes peer mediation is used, where one student helps direct peers to make better choices and resolve problems, similar to the type of conflict resolution widely used today among adults. The most popular forms of conflict resolution follow.
This is the most basic form of conflict resolution. When you’re trying to reason with someone about something, that’s negotiation. Usually, one or both parties refuse to truly negotiate but instead keep pressing their own point without compromise, which usually leads to another form of conflict resolution becoming necessary. The negotiation process that occurs in the House and Senate between Republicans and Democrats is the most visible example in our society.
This is a more formal type of negotiation, between the two parties having the conflict, and a neutral third party who helps lead the discussion. The mediator’s goal is to bring the two parties to an agreement that satisfies each of them. The mediator is only there are a sort of MC or referee, and can’t make any actual decisions. An example of mediation might be the process that occurs between two homeowners and one property has a tree that blocks the view of the other.
This is like mediation, but the neutral third party has the power to make a decision after hearing all of the facts. This is the common form of conflict resolution used in workplace disputes between labor and management, or with commercial ventures. An example of this is the lemon law process between car makers and consumers where an impartial third party determines who is at fault and what the outcome is.