How to avoid conflicts. The essence and causes of conflicts. How to prevent conflicts and learn conflict-free communication skills.

In this article we will tell you how you can avoid conflict and what methods exist for this.

In any relationship, be it business or personal, conflicts always arise. For some they happen more often, for others less often, but in any case they happen. Those who work with people usually encounter conflicts most often. The most unpleasant moment in any such situation is negativity, and there are also aggressive attacks. Of course, it’s easier not to get involved in quarrels at all, but sometimes this simply cannot be done. What to do in this case? How to behave? Let's find out.

What is conflict

In modern psychology there are many different definitions of this concept. But they all assume that conflict is the most acute phase of resolving various contradictions. They arise in the process of interaction and consist in the opposition of the participants in the situation, accompanying it with negative emotions. Most scientists focus specifically on the contradictory goals and interests of the subjects of the disagreement that has arisen.

There is a definition of contradiction as a speech act, which distinguishes three stages of the struggle of interests, the result of which is a conflict:

  • differences of opinion;
  • contradiction in dialogues;
  • direct struggle, expressed in conflicts of action.

Thus, conflict prevention means the absence of any speech acts intended to cause harm of any kind to the other party.

Conflict resolution in practice

When conflict cannot be avoided, it must be skillfully resolved. Usually disagreements lead to an argument that occurs in a raised voice. You cannot be exposed to the emotions that overwhelm another person. You need to choose the right tactics and let unpleasant information pass by.

Ignoring negativity

Additional Information. You can imagine a suitcase next to you, into which you mentally send all negative phrases. After the statements come to an end, simply get rid of them, throw them away along with your suitcase. During a conflict, one should not be exposed to emotional contagion.

You can imagine a funny character instead of a screaming opponent. Then, when getting personal and insulting, they will not achieve their goal. This method will help switch emotions to positive ones, as a result there will be no need to reproduce them. When the opponent notices calm, he will change his behavior. The main thing is to support him. Do not raise your voice, do not interrupt and listen to the end. After emotions have faded into the background, you can begin a constructive dialogue. You need to listen to your interlocutor carefully in order to understand the essence of the conflict. Initially, its cause may be hidden. For example, a person accuses another of insolvency, doubts his professionalism and does not explain that he actually suffered financial losses due to the other’s failure to fulfill what he promised on time. Such conflicts make up the bulk of the disagreements that arise in enterprises.

A way out of the conflict must be sought through joint efforts, relying on the opinions of both sides; only then can one get out of the situation with the least losses and gain benefits. To make your opponent relax and listen to another opinion, you can resort to compliments, step aside a little from the problem at hand, taking into account the characteristics of the interlocutor’s character. To understand how to resolve a conflict, you need to understand the goal of each opponent, what exactly all parties want to achieve.

The essence of the conflict

In order for conflict prevention to be sufficiently effective, it is necessary to understand what the essence of the contradiction is, which has four characteristics;

  • structure;
  • dynamics;
  • function;
  • control.

The structure of the conflict consists of:

  • object (subject of dispute);
  • entities (individuals, groups or organizations);
  • flow conditions;
  • scale;
  • strategies and tactics of behavior of the subjects of the situation;
  • outcome.

The psychology of conflict involves a dynamic process that consists of the following stages:

  • objective situation when objective reasons for conflict arise;
  • conflict interaction, where the incident itself occurs;
  • conflict resolution, which can be complete or partial.

Conflict performs various functions, and some of them are quite important for effective interaction between the parties:

  • dialectical, which involves identifying the causes of conflict interactions;
  • constructive, which involves directing the tension caused by the situation that has arisen to achieve the goal;
  • destructive when different personal and emotional colors of relationships appear.

Conflict regulation essentially comes down to the ability to manage it. Management, in turn, is divided into external and internal. In the first case, control over the situation is entrusted to the leader, in the second, personal control of one’s behavior is necessary.

Joint search for a way out

It does not always turn out that both sides emerge from the conflict in the same position. Situations vary, and compromise or cooperation that benefits both parties may not always be possible. Finding ways to resolve conflicts that will lead to a result that suits all parties is the main task when disagreements arise. To do this, you need to familiarize yourself with both positions and analyze them together.

Conveying information to your opponent

By defining a common goal, it becomes clear how to resolve the conflict so that everyone is happy. This is especially true in a professional environment, when employees of an organization begin to act together. This style of resolving contradictions is the most optimal. If it is impossible to provide benefits to everyone, they look for another way out.

The following possible outcomes are possible:

  • Provide a win for another, in which he will receive the maximum benefit;
  • Create the most favorable conditions for yourself, while you can either minimize the result for your opponent or leave him with nothing. In this case, they talk about aggression;
  • Agree to the point at which both parties will receive equally low satisfaction, but their positions will be equal to each other.

Aggression and individualism manifested by one of the parties to the conflict usually lead to negative results for the other party. In this case, it is difficult to agree, communication is unconstructive, mutual concessions and compromise do not work. Therefore, most often you have to retreat so as not to suffer maximum losses.

Main stages of conflict situations

The reasons for disagreements can be very different, but common to all of them are the stages of the emergence and resolution of a dispute. So, the stages of the conflict are as follows:

  • the moment of emergence of a conflict situation, which can be provoked by one or several people;
  • awareness of the current situation, expressed in changes in mood and various critical statements addressed to the opponent;
  • open confrontation, when the parties take active action with the aim of causing offense or other moral damage to the enemy;
  • the opponent’s awareness of the conflict situation and the beginning of response actions;
  • development of conflict when certain demands are put forward;
  • the finalization of disagreements through requests, conversations or administrative methods, consisting of a court decision, dismissal, etc.

As you may have noticed, these stages of conflict move from one to another, regardless of the type of disagreement that arises.

— Signs of a beginning dispute


1) It seems to you that the person you are talking to now has not yet said a single smart word. 2) The blood literally begins to boil in your veins at every response from your opponent. 3) You begin to be annoyed not only by the idiot standing next to you who is talking complete nonsense, but by everything around you. 4) A glass of wine, a glass of cognac or a cigarette would not hurt you right now. 5) Your heart rate increases, you begin to breathe more intensely and more often. 6) You are looking with your eyes for something that you can throw at this annoying creature. 7) It turns out that you know a lot of swear words that you would be happy to teach to an annoying fellow traveler.

Read about how to respond to insults.


Outcome options

There are different options for resolving conflict situations:

  • leaving it when one of the parties does not notice or pretends not to notice the disagreements that have arisen;
  • smoothing out contradictions when one of the subjects of the conflict either agrees with the claims made by the other party or justifies himself;
  • compromise, when both parties make mutual concessions in order to resolve disagreements;
  • an increase in tension when the onset of a conflict is particularly abrupt and turns into a serious confrontation that is not limited in time;
  • suppression of a conflict by force, when one of the parties or both subjects is forced to accept a certain point of view.

Beware of a mistake: what actions “slow down” the resolution of a conflict situation?

But even knowing how to resolve a conflict, very often people do not restrain themselves and make mistakes themselves, which reduce all efforts on the path to “peace” to nothing. These are primarily the following errors:

  • leaving a calm tone and switching to shouting, adopting an aggressive pose, interrupting during a conversation;
  • opening ridicule of a partner, switching to insult - it doesn’t matter whether in response or not, i.e. open manifestation of antipathy;
  • attracting a third party who is the enemy of your opponent;
  • deliberate understatement of the merits of the opposite side, insincerity and hypocrisy;
  • systematic refusal to respond to proposals to resolve the issue.

Types of conflicts

The psychology of conflict involves its division into types depending on the basis. Thus, the following factors can serve as the basis for identifying it as a separate type:

  • sources of occurrence;
  • social consequences;
  • scale;
  • forms of struggle;
  • subjects' tactics.

Conflicts are also divided into two types in relation to an individual subject:

  • internal;
  • external.

Internal conflict involves the contradiction of the desires of one person, and external conflict involves disagreements between him and the environment. The nature of the external conflict, in turn, can be interpersonal, intergroup, or such that it arises between an individual and a group.

Interpersonal conflict is the most common and consists of a clash of interests of different individuals. Intergroup conflict, as a rule, arises in a work atmosphere when the interests of small groups turn out to be opposing. As for the conflict between an individual and a group, this kind of disagreement is also typical in the business sphere, when the interests of the organization contradict the interests of the individual.

In addition to such disagreements, there are many others: family, teenage, personal or generational conflict. In each of these situations, problems arise with the closest people, which means that everything must be done to prevent this.

— Causes of conflicts


Understanding the causes of conflict can not only help to effectively deal with it, but also avoid complications of the situation. Psychologists identify several reasons that contribute to the emergence of conflict.

1) Lack of information about the object under discussion, or its poor quality.8) 2) Subjective perception of the situation - the discrepancy between real events and personal attitude towards them. 3) Difficulties in communication - the same words can be perceived and interpreted differently by different people. 4) Discrepancy between the expected and actual behavior of the opponent. 5) Differences in value systems - differences in interests, behavior and goals. 6) Location at various levels of the social or official ladder. 7) Lack of financial opportunities. Incompatibility of the parties' claims and lack of opportunity to satisfy them.


Family conflicts

Unfortunately, despite all efforts, conflicts in the family are an inevitable phenomenon. And the point here is not that people don’t like each other, it’s just that not everyone knows how to resolve differences peacefully.

Conflicts in the family can be between spouses, between children, between parents and children, between spouses and their parents - there are many options. However, the question arises: why do some couples live happily ever after, while others become enemies and separate forever? It's all about people's attitude to the current situation. The subject of the conflict can inflate the scandal, increasing its scale, but it is within his power to end it without great moral losses.

The slightest reason is enough for a conflict situation to arise. Sometimes it becomes like a game of table tennis, when partners throw mutual accusations at each other like a ball in a game. This can go on for quite a long time, it all depends on the desire and ability of the parties to make trouble.

In fact, there are many ways to maintain peace in the family. For example, if frequent disagreements began to appear not so long ago, you can try to express your complaint and ask your spouse to voice it in his own words. Psychologists say that most problems in couples arise due to misinterpretation of the words of their spouse. After trying this method, you will quickly become convinced that the essence of the conflict has no basis.

If the reason for the disagreement is a discrepancy in desires, take a piece of paper and write what you would like to do. It is advisable to have at least 5 items on the list. Then compare your desires and try to deduce from them something common to both. You will be surprised how effective this method is.

However, it is worth remembering that, regardless of the reason for the disagreement, the main thing is to find out its reason. Conflict prevention is to listen and hear each other. In addition, it is necessary to voice your desires without expecting them to be guessed by your spouse. If you follow these two rules, the number of conflict situations in family life will be minimized.

How to prevent conflict

The most correct behavior when building relationships with other people is to prevent conflict from arising and developing. Psychology has developed a number of specific rules of communication and interaction that help achieve this.

Rule #1

You need to learn to restrain yourself in moments of irritation and anger. It's not easy, but you have to learn. The ability to restrain yourself is very important to prevent conflicts.

Two angry businesspeople arguing furious showing a negative growth graph at office.

Rule #2

You shouldn’t decide for others and tell them how to act one way and not another. It’s better to direct your efforts inside yourself, to understand your experiences.

Rule #3

This is often forgotten, but the best time to talk is when a person is rested, well-fed and calm. A lot of conflicts flare up precisely because of physiology, when it is difficult to control oneself.

Rule #4

To successfully resolve a controversial situation, you need to direct your attention to the cause of the disagreement. In fact, the opposite often happens - opponents endlessly discuss the process of the quarrel, its details, when it would be worthwhile to understand why it happened in the first place.

Rule #5

There is no need to delve into past grievances. This is a direct road to increasing mutual claims. It is necessary to focus on the current moment and direct energy to resolve it.

Rule #6

It is important not to accumulate a large number of unresolved problems, but to solve them as soon as they appear. The more problems, the higher the likelihood of conflict. You should never return to closed topics.

Rule #7

Often conflicts arise because people do not voice their grievances. They carry them inside themselves for a long time, and then an explosion occurs in the form of a scandal. Of course, you need to learn to express complaints correctly and without provocation, in other words, do not forget about good manners.

Rule #8

A continuation of the previous method is to maintain a culture of communication. No matter how annoying a person is, you should not stoop to insults and swearing. This will not help resolve the disagreement; on the contrary, it will provoke a more violent showdown.

Rule #9

In addition, you should monitor the tone in which the words of the conversation are spoken. Sometimes the speech is correct and cultured. But her manner is such that it entails an outburst of anger and aggression on the part of the interlocutor.

Rule #10

An important manifestation of endurance is the ability not to become hysterical for any reason. Of course, this behavior can achieve results. Only it will be temporary, and no one likes constant manipulation.

The problem of fathers and children

In modern society there are three main directions: older, mature and young. Generation conflict is a normal part of the relationship between elders and younger ones.

As for the discussion of this type of disagreement, a transition to micro levels is inevitable, when this kind of situation becomes commonplace in any average family, where the views of parents differ from those of children or teenagers. However, different worldviews do not necessarily lead to conflict situations.

How to avoid generational conflict? The only way out of this situation is to accept the views of the other side, mutual respect and tolerance. For example, pensioners, having stopped fulfilling their daily professional duties, find themselves in a difficult psychological situation when they need help and support from loved ones.

Teenagers, in turn, are at an age when categorical behavior and complete denial of the opinions of adults is normal for them. Between pensioners and young people stand mature people, who may also suffer from different views on the lives of their parents or children. In this case, each party must be tolerant of and respect the opinions of others. Only such mutual understanding can be the answer to the question of how to avoid conflict between different generations.

The concept and essence of conflict

Psychology defines conflict as the most acute stage in a joint solution to a problem. In other words, this is the emergence of a clear contradiction when the opinions and interests of different people collide.

The main reason lies precisely in different views on this situation - on the goal and the method of resolving it. The entire interaction process is accompanied by negative emotions.

Any conflict implies certain characteristics inherent in a situation of contradiction. Knowing them, it is easier to understand how to avoid conflicts or quickly find a way to resolve them.

The essence of the conflict implies:

• structure of the conflict situation. It includes the object (what caused the dispute), subjects (those persons whose opinions do not coincide), the scale of the contradiction, conditions, behavior of the participants and, finally, the outcome of the conflict.

• the dynamics of the struggle of interests in the form of certain stages. First, an objectively problematic situation arises. Further, its participants cannot resolve it peacefully, and a conflict arises. The last step is full or incomplete resolution (outcome).

• The functions of conflict can contribute to both positive and negative outcomes. If we talk about a dialectical (the ability to negotiate) or a constructive (to achieve a goal through the tension of a situation) task, then they are viewed in a positive way. The destructive function contributes to the destruction of good relationships and prevents the problem from being solved.

• managing a conflict situation is possible through external or internal effort. From the outside, a boss or an authoritative person can settle a quarrel. Sometimes the participants themselves can resolve the situation. If they make some effort to change their behavior.

Teenage conflicts

In adolescence, which is considered one of the most difficult periods, conflicts occupy a special place, being an integral part of social life. Conflicts among adolescents arise not only in relationships with parents, but also when communicating with peers. Often, it is the child’s difficult relationships with friends that become a serious cause for parental concern. At this time, adults are required to make every effort to help the teenager avoid difficulties in communication. There are several rules that, if followed, can help avoid such situations and help a teenager move to the next stage of life as painlessly as possible. So, if your goal is to prevent conflicts, you are required to:

  • Don't blame the teenager for everything. It is at this stage of life that trusting relationships with adults are crucial for him. Therefore, it is extremely important that the child knows that he can trust you in any situation without fear of accusations against him.
  • Find out the reason for the disagreement. Find out from your child all the details of what happened before drawing conclusions. If a teenager withdraws into himself, you should talk to school teachers and find out the cause of the problem.
  • Realize that parental intervention is not always beneficial. If we are talking about a quarrel between best friends, who can swear several times a day, and sometimes it comes to a fight, then the intervention of adults will only have a negative result. Before deciding to help your child, find out all the details of what happened.
  • Do not show indifference. The position of an outside observer is not always beneficial. For example, if your child has serious problems with peers who do not accept him into their circle, this can lead to serious psychological problems in the future. This situation should be taken under control as early as possible, finding out the reasons for such behavior.

Your friendly attitude and tolerance are crucial in resolving teenage conflicts painlessly.

Ways to prevent the development of a conflict situation

  • Try to restrain yourself in an argument and not turn to a raised tone and insults
  • Stop replaying the conversation to yourself and getting even more wound up.
  • Conduct a conversation and experience the situation from the position of “here and now”
  • Choose the right moment and calm environment for conversation
  • Try not to accumulate grievances and then throw out what has accumulated in one fell swoop. Solve problems as they arise
  • Do not offend or insult your interlocutor. Don't remind him of past mistakes
  • Try to communicate without shouting
  • When talking, don’t joke about things that may be dear to your interlocutor.
  • There is no need in the heat of the moment to tease and ridicule the character traits and physical flaws of your opponent.
  • When a quarrel flares up, try to take the conversation in a different direction. You can unexpectedly ask to convey something to you, to confuse your opponent’s thoughts
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your interlocutor and imagine his position
  • Do not cling to words and do not take individual phrases out of context. This will divert the conversation and will only contribute to the development of aggression on both sides
  • Consider that the root cause of the conflict may be a bad mood or failure of both parties

Personality conflicts

Especially common are personal conflicts that can arise both between colleagues and between people connected by various social ties. They, as a rule, appear due to the impossibility of accepting the point of view, ideology, value system and other attitudes of the enterprise. Also, disagreements may arise between employees due to the incompatibility of their characters and other psychological characteristics.

The main quality that helps in overcoming such situations is tolerance towards the opinions of others. It is necessary to realize that no one is obliged to share your point of view, because each person has his own opinion. Awareness of this fact makes it easier to perceive personality differences.

Learning to resolve accumulated contradictions

Most often, quarrels brew where we spend the most time: at home with our loved ones and at work with colleagues and superiors. At work, we have to interact a lot with a variety of people. We try to do everything in time, to be correct, and the tension gradually increases. When and in what situation irritation will burst out, no one can predict.

Rules of good manners in the work team

  1. Try not to get irritated and maintain your own good mood. This not only protects you from stress, but also prevents many clashes with co-workers.
  2. Communicate less with people you dislike as much as possible. If there is a tense atmosphere at work, try not to be provoked and do not discuss your colleagues. Moreover, do not spread gossip and “do not make friends against anyone.”
  3. If possible, remain neutral in any situation and do not take sides in personal relationships.
  4. It is better to stick to purely work relationships than to establish friendships at work and have illusions about how other colleagues treat you. In this case, you won’t have to be offended yourself, and you won’t expect too much from your colleagues.

Conflict resolution styles

Depending on the goals and interests of the subjects of a conflict situation, the following styles of conflict resolution are distinguished:

  1. Competition is one of the toughest options for resolving conflict situations. Suitable for people who seek to solve a problem primarily to satisfy their own interests. The style is most appropriate in cases where the subject of the conflict is an employee of the organization, and resolving the situation is within the competence of the manager. In this case, it is competition that will teach employees to obey, and will also help restore faith in the success of the enterprise in a difficult situation.
  2. Evasion is expressed in postponing making a decision for too long under various pretexts. This leads to the fact that the situation only becomes more complicated over time, which is why this style is the least preferred.
  3. Adaptation involves focusing on the behavior of others and an unwillingness to defend one’s own interests. The result of choosing this style of conflict resolution is a concession to the opponent’s demands and recognition of his rightness.
  4. Cooperation involves solving a problem in your favor, taking into account the interests of the other party. This is the most acceptable style of resolving social conflicts, because it is the key to maintaining peaceful relations in the future.
  5. A compromise based on mutual concessions on both sides. It is suitable for situations where the goals of the parties coincide, only the ways to achieve them differ. This style of conflict resolution is often the best option for the participants.

Part One: Conflict Prevention

Preventing (or forewarning) conflicts is an activity aimed at creating and strengthening special living conditions that help eliminate the possibility of conflicts themselves.

Conflict prevention measures can be taken by:

  • People who want to protect themselves and their interests from participating in a conflict, and also avoid the role of an accomplice in a conflict situation;
  • People who want to help other people and prevent a conflict situation from arising, confident that they will not have to be directly involved in it.

How effective conflict prevention efforts will be depends on a number of factors and obstacles encountered along the way. As a rule, in life it is not always possible to achieve the required result, which is due to reasons that are both subjective and objective.

Subjective reasons that prevent conflict prevention depend mainly on a person’s personal characteristics and his ability to predict the likely results of his actions.

EXAMPLE: There is a certain category of people who have the habit of diluting their leisure time (read: having fun) by consciously or unconsciously provoking conflicts with other people. There are also people who experience a special kind of discomfort in everyday situations and gravitate toward stressful situations, thereby causing their occurrence. Qualities such as disrespect for others, boasting, rudeness, the desire to demonstrate superiority and others like them in any case serve as catalysts for problems for people and reduce the very possibility of preventing conflicts to a minimum.

Objective reasons that impede the prevention of conflicts are characterized by the intervention of strangers in the situation and can be very diverse. Such obstacles include:

Obstacles of a socio-psychological nature;

EXAMPLE: Usually, the interaction of people is built by them independently, and the intervention of outsiders is perceived as an intrusive influence and is considered undesirable.

Obstacles of a moral nature;

EXAMPLE: Situations often arise when people view conflict as an exclusively private phenomenon. Here, forcing the parties to agree may simply be unethical.

Legal obstacles;

EXAMPLE: Such phenomena as forcing a person to do something, infringement of individual rights can often arise from the best intentions. However, they may well be illegal and at odds with the law.

Any outside intervention in a conflict can occur and is possible only when the situation worsens, goes beyond the scope of personal or group interaction and transforms into a socially dangerous or socially significant phenomenon. In those cases where a conflict can be prevented, conflict prevention technology should be used.

Conflict Prevention Technology

Conflict prevention technology is a set of special techniques, as well as means and methods that influence both the pre-conflict situation and the subjects participating in it.

It is possible to influence a situation that may result in a conflict in the following areas:

  • Transform reality according to the expectations of interested parties, thereby neutralizing the subject of potential conflict;
  • Transform your personal attitude towards the problematic issue that serves as the basis for confrontation, in other words, influence your own behavior;
  • Transform the enemy’s attitude to a problematic issue, in other words, influence his consciousness and behavior.

The most effective method aimed at transforming reality according to the expectations of subjects and preventing a conflict situation can be called maintaining collaborative relationships, because in many cases, pre-conflict interaction between subjects is neutral and sometimes their cooperation is possible. For this reason, special attention should be paid not to destroy existing relationships, but also to support and strengthen their constructiveness.

Ways to develop and maintain cooperation

Among the ways to develop and maintain cooperation, there are several main ones:

Psychological "stroking" . Its meaning is that it is necessary to constantly and consistently maintain a good mood, a friendly atmosphere, and positive emotions. This method allows for emotional relief, arousing a feeling of sympathy, and relieving tension, which will seriously complicate the emergence of a conflict.

EXAMPLE: Anniversaries, presentations, corporate events, trainings, etc.

Psychological mood. This method implies a diverse and positive impact on the opponent.

EXAMPLE: Informing the opponent about possible changes in the situation, predicting the consequences and tuning in to them, jointly discussing possible results, etc.

Sharing of merit. Most effective in a team environment. This method helps to neutralize envy, resentment, as well as other negative emotions and phenomena that can provoke conflict.

EXAMPLE: All results and merits are divided among all team members (work participants). This happens even if the majority of the credit belongs to one person.

Elimination of social discrimination. In other words, support for equal social status of subjects.

EXAMPLE: The inadmissibility of any kind of superiority of any of the subjects over another/others, the inadmissibility of differentiation and emphasizing differences between people.

Mutual complement. The essence of the method is to create conditions and situations in which it is necessary to use the opponent’s traits, characteristics, abilities, etc. in joint interaction. - everything that one of the subjects does not possess. In this way, you can easily avoid conflict situations, make relationships stronger and at the same time benefit for yourself.

EXAMPLE: Joint completion of tasks and implementation of projects, sports competitions, team games, etc.

Preserving the partner's reputation. The main idea here is the postulate: “A competitor is not necessarily an enemy.” Any opponent can be worthy of respectful treatment.

EXAMPLE: Emphasizing the authority and status of the opponent as one’s own; focusing on the positive qualities of the opponent, etc.

Practical empathy . This method is a psychological adjustment to the opponent, and is also expressed in non-aggression, the absence of groundless hostility.

EXAMPLE: Putting yourself in the position of a partner, understanding his problems and difficulties, projecting his situation onto himself, expressing sympathy, and being ready to help.

Agreement. The presented method can be characterized as involving a potential rival in your business, introducing him to the course of events, which helps eliminate conflicting interests and creates common ones.

EXAMPLE: Negotiations, official and informal meetings aimed at finding compromises and mutually beneficial conditions, refusal to fight.

The above methods are ideal for use in practice and are actively used by both ordinary people and specialists in the field of communication and conflict management. They can be used in absolutely any area of ​​life and activity, from family life and relationships with friends, to professional activities and relationships with business partners.

In addition to the first part, it is also worth mentioning the regulatory procedures for resolving conflict situations.

Regulatory procedures for resolving conflict situations

Regulatory procedures for resolving conflict situations imply special mechanisms aimed at regulating conflicts and pre-conflict situations with the assistance of political, religious, moral, legal and other types of norms.

The effectiveness of such conflict prevention procedures depends on the attitude of society and various government agencies to existing norms and the consistency of their implementation.

The difference between the normative regulation of conflicts and similar institutions operating temporarily is that they make the system more stable and determine the procedure for the development and resolution of conflict situations in its long-term aspect.

EXAMPLE: In order to prevent conflict situations in many countries today, the practice of including in official documents (treaties, agreements, etc.) concluded between organizations and/or people and other organizations, special clauses, which stipulate in detail the behavior of subjects in the event of any kind of controversial situations. In addition, this not only makes it possible to regulate the behavior of subjects, but also prevents the occurrence of spontaneous conflicts and keeps subjects from rash actions.

But no matter what the prospects are, no matter what methods of preventing conflicts are used by the people involved in the interaction, the likelihood of a conflict situation arising is very high, as can be judged at least by news reports, strained relations between states, and simply by pictures from our real life . And in cases where it is no longer possible to prevent a conflict, conflict management methods come to the rescue.

On this note, we, in fact, move on to the second part of our lesson.


Basic ways to resolve conflict situations

All existing methods of conflict resolution can be divided into two large groups: negative and positive.

Negative means a struggle for one’s own interests, the main goal of which is to change the conflict situation. This can be achieved in various ways:

  • influencing the other side;
  • changing the balance of power;
  • using both true and false information about an opponent for one’s own purposes;
  • correctly assessing the other side and its capabilities.

This method of resolving a conflict is quite aggressive and often leads to a breakdown in unity between the parties in the future. This is why it should be avoided whenever possible.

Positive methods of conflict resolution involve negotiating to determine the most optimal solution to the situation. They, as a rule, require concessions from the subjects and lead to partial satisfaction of the interests of the parties.

Thus, there are many ways to resolve conflict situations, but the best way is to prevent it.

The need for conflict resolution

How to manipulate people - can this be learned, methods of influence

Constant avoidance of conflicts and unilateral concessions do not solve problems. Such methods of conflict resolution should be used in extreme cases. Postponing a discussion or dispute often aggravates the situation. If a problem arises, it is better to immediately begin a constructive dialogue. It is necessary to listen to both sides and present your arguments. Those in conflict need to hear each other, which will help them come to an agreement.

It is better to avoid conflict with unbalanced people who throw baseless accusations. A conversation with such an interlocutor will not bring results. It is possible to get him emotional, to show the interlocutor his place if, for example, he occupies a lower position. Such conflicts do not carry any meaning; they are only accompanied by the release of negative emotions.

Often disagreements arise between teenagers in the classroom when they are faced with aggression and an inability to prove their point of view. Children are quick-tempered and do not always cope with their emotions, so it is important to help them get out of difficult situations. If possible, the class teacher should explain the tactics of behavior and the mechanism for getting out of a conflict situation.

Conflict at school

How to avoid conflicts

The most common reason for this kind of disagreement is a person’s excessive emotionality. If your goal is to prevent conflicts, you should learn to:

  • calmness and resistance to stress, thanks to which you can calmly assess the current situation;
  • keep your emotions under control in order to be able to convey your arguments to your opponent as effectively as possible;
  • listen and pay attention to the words and expressions of feelings of others;
  • realize the right of each person to resolve this or that situation in his own way;
  • Do not use offensive words or do anything to humiliate your opponent.

Following these rules will help to avoid the emergence of various conflict situations, and therefore the need to look for the optimal way out of them.

When to forget about compromise

How to cheer yourself up quickly when you feel bad - methods and tips

Compromise is one of the methods of conflict resolution. But you shouldn’t resort to it thoughtlessly. In a compromise, both parties must be satisfied. There is no need to follow the lead of someone with greater power if this contradicts desires and principles. It is always important to maintain moral character. You need to be able to distinguish compromise from concessions and not infringe on your rights when resolving conflict situations.

When parties encounter not only different values, characters and views, but also aspirations for different results and means of achieving them, they speak of interpersonal conflicts. This is the main type of confrontation found in society. Ways to resolve interpersonal conflicts include:

  • Evasion;
  • Device;
  • Compromise;
  • Cooperation;
  • Compulsion;
  • Confrontation.

A compromise must be abandoned if it benefits only one side, the opponent. People can use others because they are reliable. At the same time, they benefit for themselves, and leave the person with nothing. You need to be able to recognize such motives and always know what the result will be, whether it will benefit both parties.

Often people smooth out conflict situations in relationships so as not to spoil them. They endure insults so as not to be left alone. You cannot allow another person to resort to insults and humiliation; you need to love and value yourself and your opinion.

Should conflicts always be avoided?

A conflict situation is always a clash of interests. Such a confrontation assumes that each side will try to defend its desires and point of view, which will inevitably lead to various kinds of disagreements. Of course, it is difficult to argue with the fact that a bad peace is better than a good quarrel, and it is better to remain silent somewhere than to provoke a scandal.

But if you look at the situation from the other side, it turns out that conflicts also have certain benefits. For example, they help to see existing problems in a new light. This applies to both personal relationships and business ones. Expressing your opinion is always better than silently experiencing your own dissatisfaction. In personal relationships, such silence will sooner or later lead to a large-scale scandal, which could end in a complete separation of people. This applies to couples, friends and even parents and children. No person can silently endure dissatisfaction all his life; sooner or later it will come out. The later this happens, the worse the consequences will be. That is why the periodic occurrence of conflict situations will help avoid global problems in relationships. However, it must be taken into account that they must be resolved correctly so that they do not drag on and become a habitual way of life.

As for business relationships, conflicts of various kinds also make it possible to see the problems existing in the team, the solution of which should be started as early as possible.

When people live for years without a conflict situation arising, this indicates a lack of closeness between them and indifference to each other. No one can read another person's mind and fully meet his expectations. Therefore, you must definitely speak out your desires, even if this leads to a small conflict. Trying to reach an agreement and solve the problem peacefully will improve relationships instead of causing harm.

However, too frequent disagreements are also not an indicator of a healthy relationship, so preventing conflicts is sometimes the best way to resolve the situation.

Part Two: Conflict Management Techniques

In this part, we'll take a closer look at the nine most effective conflict management techniques: avoidance, inaction, concession and accommodation, smoothing, covert action, quick fixes, compromise, cooperation, and force.

Avoiding conflict

Avoiding conflict is the most popular method of conflict management. The meaning of the method is that the subject strives with all his might to avoid a conflict situation, removing himself from the “scene” psychologically, physically or economically. The advantage of this method is that the decision to eliminate himself is made by the subject in record time. The method itself is used when the conflict does not fit the situation and is unnecessary for one of the subjects. It is recommended to avoid conflict if the cost of losses in case of failure is high.

Incentives for using this method

  • The wrong time for conflict
  • Fear of your opponent
  • A situation where a problematic issue only to a small extent affects the main essence of the conflict
  • A situation where a problematic issue serves as a pointer to more compelling reasons
  • The opponent has an advantage and a more effective potential to resolve the problem
  • There is a need to collect additional information
  • The intensity of the conflict is subsiding
  • There are more important circumstances
  • The essence of the conflict is some trivial problem

How to behave according to this method

  • Contact the relevant legal and bureaucratic authorities as the main assistant in resolving the conflict
  • Use secrecy to avoid the peak of conflict
  • Apply all kinds of procedures to slow down the conflict so that it fades away
  • Delaying the solution to the problem
  • Deny the existence of the very essence of the problem and hope that the situation will resolve itself naturally

When not to use this method

  • When the time resource is very important and loss of time can lead to large costs or the transfer of initiative to the opponent
  • When there are prospects for long-term activity of the causes of the conflict (the method is suitable only for a short period of time)
  • When the problem is of particular importance (so as not to “bury your head in the sand”)

Experts believe that avoiding conflict allows you to resolve the conflict according to the “victory-defeat” scheme.


Inaction is considered a special type of avoidance of conflict. The meaning of the method is that the subject does not make absolutely any calculations or actions. Inaction is considered applicable only when there is complete uncertainty of the situation and no predictions can be made. It is important to understand that the results of this method are unpredictable, but in some cases the situation can be resolved favorably for the subject.

Concessions and accommodation

The meaning of the method is that the subject makes concessions by reducing his claims.

Incentives for using this method

  • The result of conflict resolution promises awareness of one’s mistakes and professional or personal growth.
  • The most important factor is stability
  • There is a clear advantage of the opponent
  • There is a high probability of your opponent winning
  • It is possible to use this (even negative) experience as strategic potential for similar situations in the future
  • The essence of the conflict is more important for the opponent
  • The opponent is right and it makes sense to listen to what he says

The most likely outcome of the conflict when using this method is the “defeat-victory” scheme.


Smoothing as a method of conflict management is used when the subject is focused on collective methods of interaction with opponents. The meaning of the method is that the common interests of opponents and the negative impact of the conflict on the situation as a whole are emphasized.

Incentives for using this method

  • Differences in interests with the opponent are insignificant
  • The terms of interaction are familiar and familiar

The result of conflict resolution may be different, i.e. There are two options: “victory-victory” and “victory-defeat”.

Hidden Actions

Hidden actions are used in cases where the subject comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to use hidden means to resolve the conflict.

Incentives for using this method

  • There is no resource or power balance, as a result of which one of the subjects is at greatest risk
  • It is impossible to involve an opponent in a conflict according to the currently established rules
  • Reluctance to participate in open conflict due to fear of losing image
  • The influence of psychological, social, political or economic reasons that create barriers to participation in open conflict

How to behave according to this method

  • Apply gentlemanly (open, respectful) forms of influence
  • Use hidden forms of influence (creating barriers and unfavorable conditions, using deception, bribery, backroom negotiations, collusion)

Negative consequences of this method

  • Prospect of conflict escalation
  • Dissemination of negative information among opponents and third parties about an entity using hidden actions
  • Possibility of taking drastic measures against a subject using hidden actions
  • Increased overt or covert resistance to the subject using covert actions

The result of using hidden actions directly depends on the potential and experience of the opponent and can have several options, from the “win-win” option to the “defeat-defeat” option.

Fast decision

The meaning of the method is that a decision about the cause of the conflict is made in the shortest possible time, one might even say instantly.

Incentives for using this method

  • The expectation that a quick solution will be more effective than any other method of conflict management and will entail a minimum of losses
  • There is no threat of a dangerous escalation of the conflict, and there is no need for careful strategizing
  • All parties to the conflict strive to find a mutually beneficial solution to the problem
  • One of the subjects changes his position after receiving new “objective” data or under the influence of the arguments of another opponent
  • Limited amount of time due to the nature of the situation

Advantages of this method

  • Solutions are prepared on mutually beneficial terms
  • Mutual respect between opponents
  • Speed ​​of conflict resolution

The most likely result of a quick decision is a win-win scheme, but for this to happen there must be as much agreement as possible between the opponents.


Compromise is a type of agreement in which both subjects occupy middle positions within the boundaries of the existing conflict situation. The method is considered classic. The meaning of the method is that agreement between subjects is achieved through their direct negotiations.

Incentives for using this method

  • None of the subjects want to lose
  • Limited resources
  • All opponents have enough time
  • Both subjects believe that their needs can be satisfied through give-and-take negotiations.
  • It is necessary to get out of the situation, because... neither struggle nor cooperation gives the desired result
  • A decision must be made due to time pressure
  • The decisions taken can solve a complex of problems
  • Both subjects have completely different goals, but their powers are equal and they use mutually exclusive methods
  • The goals of the subjects are important to them, but it is not advisable to expend much effort

How to behave according to this method

  • Search and offer acceptable solutions
  • Contribute to solving the problem on an equal basis with your opponent
  • Negotiate

When not to use this method

  • Subjects dispute their obligations
  • An unclear decision has been made, the effectiveness of which remains in question
  • If initially one’s own position was assessed inadequately, erroneously

Advantages of this method

  • The prospect of developing mutually beneficial solutions
  • Negotiations are conducted on a mutually respectful basis
  • Objective criteria are used during negotiations
  • Subjects' attention is focused on mutual interests
  • All subjects can solve their problems

As a result of applying a compromise, both subjects are satisfied, but there is no clear winner.


The meaning of the method is that opposing subjects act with the goal of finding the most acceptable way to resolve a conflict situation.

Incentives for using this method

  • Subjects fulfill their obligations and know how to cooperate
  • There is time to find a mutually beneficial alternative solution
  • The solution is developed on mutually beneficial terms
  • It is possible to identify the opponent’s position and behavior
  • One of the opponents needs to identify his objective goals
  • A more thoughtful decision needs to be made that cannot be achieved through compromise alone

Special specificity of this method

  • Subjects perceive the conflict situation itself as a challenge
  • Situations in which all parties to the conflict benefit are identified
  • Deeper solutions to the problem are found
  • The emphasis is not on differences, but on information and ideas that are shared by all subjects
  • Opponents are focused on solving the problem

Here it should be said about a very effective method of conflict management through problem solving, proposed by the famous American conflict specialist Alan Filley. Its essence boils down to the following:

  • The problem is defined in terms of goals, not solutions.
  • After defining the problem, solutions are determined that suit all parties to the conflict
  • Attention should be focused precisely on the problem, and not on the personal characteristics of the opponent
  • Then an atmosphere of trust is created, through which the mutual influence of subjects and information exchange between them is enhanced
  • In the process of communication, it is necessary to create a positive attitude of subjects towards each other through their manifestation of sympathy and attention to opposing positions; any manifestations of threats or anger should be kept to a minimum

When not to use this method

  • Temporary conditions are not conducive to cooperation
  • Any of the subjects shows optionality

In most cases, the result of using cooperation is a win-win scheme.

Use of force

The use of force refers to the desire of one of the opponents to impose its solution to the problem on the other. The method becomes more effective in situations where one of the subjects has a significant advantage over the other.

Incentives for using this method

  • Required to subdue your opponent
  • Requires the use of power through coercion
  • Required to use competition
  • It is necessary to impose a “win-lose” scheme on the opponent
  • It is necessary to resolve a conflict with a subject characterized by extremely destructive behavior
  • You need to successfully get out of a vital situation
  • It is necessary to use an unpopular solution to resolve a conflict situation
  • There is a need for quick and decisive action
  • Need to make a decision in an emergency situation

The result of the use of force is almost always a “victory-defeat” pattern.

As we can see, ways to manage conflicts are very effective. Along with conflict prevention methods, absolutely anyone can use them in absolutely any area of ​​life. But, besides this, it is very important to competently and skillfully select the control option suitable for each specific situation. Try to take into account the presented features of each method - this is the only way you can get the maximum result from any of them.

And finally, some more very interesting practical information. So that you can more competently manage conflicts, you should use the recommendations developed specifically for this by psychologists.

Do not spread gossip and criticize consciously

Such is the essence of human nature that in the absence of mutual acquaintances we like to talk about them. Not only women, but also men are prone to “bone washing.” You should get rid of this habit. If you judge someone, say it to the person's face. Prying into your personal life if you were not initiated into it is, at the very least, uncivilized. Speaking unkindly behind their backs about those with whom you personally communicate well is real meanness. It is better to refrain altogether from categorical comments addressed to third parties. If the situation requires your comment, try to gently but clearly tell the person everything to his face, as it is. Is it possible to avoid conflict if you want to express criticism but do not have solid arguments? Of course yes. It is enough to emphasize that all your words are your personal opinion, and it is up to your opponent to decide whether to listen to it or not.

Learning to understand and respect

Universal advice on how to avoid conflicts is to learn to respect everyone around you. It doesn’t matter who is in front of you: a homeless person trying to beg for alms or the boss of a large company. Each of them is human, and if you have to speak, maintain a friendly tone of communication. Often conflicts occur due to misunderstandings. Listen carefully to your opponent, do not interrupt, ask additional and clarifying questions. If you think that the interlocutor is wrong or is saying some nonsense, briefly retell everything that you understood from what you heard, ask again if this is what he wanted to say. Never take information critically, remember that every person has the right to their own opinion.

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