5 steps to resolve conflicts with Emotional Intelligence
Tips on how to manage conflicts with Emotional Intelligence.
When we think of conflicts we think of the great 'problems' of humanity: diplomatic crises, wars, class struggles, religious confrontations, etc.
But conflict is also part of the life of any 'ordinary' person: it is something inherent to the human being.It is something inherent to human beings just by the fact of living. From the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed, we encounter various conflicts throughout the day.
How to deal with conflicts in the best way?
A conflict is a confrontation, a disagreement between two or more parties. We can say that there are two main reasons why conflicts are triggered: when each of the parties to the conflict has a different need that clashes with the need of the other(s); and when one tries to make the other see a situation from his or her point of view and perception without taking into account that the same 'reality' will surely be perceived by the other in another way based on his or her beliefs and values.
Whatever the reason for the origin of the conflict, the discomfort that arises from the lack of understanding generates in the opposing parties frustration, anger and even rage, which sometimes trigger unwise actions (shouting, reproaches, reproaches, retaliation, anger, etc.). (shouting, reproaches, bad gestures...) that prevent the resolution of the conflict and aggravate it.
But conflicts are not only between people (in couples, between bosses and employees, between siblings, etc.), but we must not forget about internal conflicts that are exactly the same: a person has to choose between two needs and is unable to reach an agreement without frustration (go for a run or stay on the couch; start work late or continue to entertain yourself on the Internet, etc.).
How do you usually deal with conflicts?
Traditionally, regardless of the type of conflict, they are usually dealt with in one of 3 ways.
Ignoring it, letting it pass, thinking that the conflict will go away by itself. In reality it remains stagnant, it grows and generates toxicity. and generates toxicity.
Give free rein to anger and confrontation to vent frustration. But the truth is that even if one of the parties is victorious and the conflict seems to be over, collateral damage has been generated which, in turn, will create new problems. which, in turn, will create new problems.
See what party A and party B want and enter into an agreement in which both parties achieve a win-win situation. We both win, but neither party gets the big win.. Even if there is some discontent for not 'winning more', the negotiation does not generate collateral damage as in the previous case.
How to take a conflict through to negotiation from Emotional Intelligence.
Taking into account these three points, the key to achieve an intelligent resolution of conflicts is to face them from dialogue and negotiation.
The problem is that the lack of knowledge in the management of emotions (what would be called lack of Emotional Intelligence), causes that one does not know how to channel the conflict towards the negotiation (what would be called lack of Emotional Intelligence), causes that you do not know how to channel the conflict towards the negotiation without leading before in some of the other points of resolution of the same one.
Here are 5 key steps that you can follow to resolve conflicts by applying Emotional Intelligence.
1. Identify the problem, what is generating the conflict.
We do not mean to identify the feeling that generates (discomfort, anger, sadness...), but what is the problem that really generates the conflict? what is the problem that really is the basis of the conflict.. Imagine that in a shared apartment the two people argue continuously because one always leaves his things in the middle and the other person is too demanding when it comes to have everything in its place. It is clear that here the central problem is the order in the house.
2. Gentle approach
This may be the most important step of all: many conflicts are not solved because this step is completely ignored. It is convenient to remove the barriers and communicate with our interlocutor (or with ourselves) from a caring and non-reproachful perspective..
In the example of the conflict between roommates over tidiness, talking to the other person from kindness and respect would be something like: "you are a person who collaborates quickly whenever I ask you to, but sometimes...", instead of 'attacking' directly with "you always leave everything a mess and don't care about anything".
3. Find the right time and place
If the anger is at stratospheric levels, there is accumulated fatigue, or we are in the middle of the street, it is not the time to try to negotiate.
It is necessary to wait for the occasion when the parties are receptive because, otherwise, the communication will be worthless. But But we must not confuse waiting with avoiding. It is not necessary to let the days pass, but the hours.
4. To look for the common positive intention
Behind the needs of each person in conflict, there is a common positive intention, and we must look for it. and it is necessary to look for it. You have to ask yourself the 'what for'.
Continuing with our example of roommates, the problem that generates the conflict is tidiness. One of them is messy and the other is tidy, and that is where the conflict arises. But why is one messy and the other not? In both cases, the positive intention is to feel comfortable at home: the messy one lives comfortably with chaos and the tidy one wants everything tidy to feel relaxed where he lives.
5. Negotiation of needs
Once the previous steps have been completed, it will be possible to reach this point of negotiation. Both parties will be able to give a little so that the positive intention of each party, their need, is satisfied and the conflict is resolved..
Thus, in the case of our flatmates, it is possible to reach an agreement to try to maintain the maximum order in common areas such as the living room or the kitchen, but being able to maintain each one in his room and in his bathroom the order that each one wishes.
These steps are very simple and tremendously effective to put an end to discussions and conflicts of all kinds without creating others and without increasing frustrations, but the problem is that The development of Emotional Intelligence, the key to the success of these skills, is still a pending subject for a large part of the population..
In our school, emotional intelligence is studied in most of our training courses so that our students become people who are not enslaved by their emotions and are able to manage conflicts effectively.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)