Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Conflict resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach, such as the simultaneous pursuit of litigation (the use of legal power) and negotiation (attempts to reconcile each party’s interests). There are a number of powerful strategies for conflict resolution.

Knowing how to manage and resolve conflict is essential for having a productive work life, and it is important for community and family life as well. Dispute resolution, to use another common term, is a relatively new field, emerging after World War II. Scholars from the Program on Negotiation were leaders in establishing the field.

Strategies include maintaining open lines of communication, asking other parties to mediate, and keeping sight of your underlying interests. In addition, negotiators can try to resolve conflict by creating value out of conflict, in which you try to capitalize on shared interests, explore differences in preferences, priorities, and resources, capitalize on differences in forecasts and risk preferences, and address potential implementation problems up front.

These skills are useful in crisis negotiation situations and in handling cultural differences in negotiations, and can be invaluable when dealing with difficult people, helping you to “build a golden bridge” and listen to learn, in which you acknowledge the other person’s points before asking him or her to acknowledge yours.

Articles offer numerous examples of dispute resolution and explore various aspects of it, including international dispute resolution, how it can be useful in your personal life, skills needed to achieve it, and training that hones those skills.

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Arbitration vs Mediation: How Negotiators Can Effectively Use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

PON Staff   •  05/11/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

arbitration vs mediation and the conflict resolution process in alternative dispute resolution

Arbitration, mediation, and the dispute resolution process – how negotiators can effectively use alternative dispute resolution (ADR), conflict management and conflict resolution techniques to resolve disputes, repair relationships, and find opportunities for value creation at the bargaining table.

It’s often the case that when two people or organizations try to resolve a dispute by determining who … Read More 

Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

PON Staff   •  05/09/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

conflict resolution online the pitfalls of negotiations over email

Negotiation research suggests that email often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes in conflict resolution negotiation scenarios. First, establishing social rapport via email can be challenging. The lack of nonverbal cues and the dearth of social norms regarding its use can cause negotiators to be impolite and … Read More 

A Case Study of Conflict Management: Family Conflict Resolution Lessons from the Home

Keith Lutz   •  05/01/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

a case study of conflict management family conflict resolution lessons from the home

In Lessons in Domestic Diplomacy, the New York Times’ Bruce Feiler, drawing on family conflict resolution negotiation examples in his past, offers a case study of conflict management by focusing on disputes in the home, asking, “how do we break out of negative patterns of conduct and proactively approach problems encountered in our everyday lives?” … Read More 

Dealing with Difficult People? Negotiation Lessons from Ronald Reagan

Katie Shonk   •  05/01/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

Dealing with Difficult People? Negotiation Lessons from Ronald Reagan

In recent months, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have struggled to find a winning strategy to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from his aggressions toward Ukraine. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Ken Adelman, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations and arms-control director, writes that recently … Read More 

Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

PON Staff   •  04/20/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

Although Elfenbein and her colleagues did find that negotiators performed at a similar level from one negotiation to the next, to their surprise, these scores were only minimally related to specific personality traits. And traits that are basically unchangeable, such as gender, ethnic background, and physical attractiveness, were not closely connected to people’s scores.

A small … Read More 

Integrative Negotiations: Examples of Dispute Resolution Through Joint Fact-Finding

PON Staff   •  04/18/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

integrative negotiations examples dispute resolution through joint fact-finding

Sometimes parties to a dispute disagree on key facts and forecasts but lack the technical or scientific expertise needed to come to a consensus. Suppose, for instance, that a developer is seeking to build a high-rise condominium building in a village that is experiencing a development boom. Longtime residents fight the proposal, arguing that another … Read More 

Cognitive Biases in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – Common Negotiation Mistakes

PON Staff   •  04/06/2017   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

cognitive biases in negotiation and conflict resolution - common negotiation mistakes

Negotiators planning to engage in conflict resolution in a personal or business disputes should be aware of cognitive biases in negotiation, particularly when your dispute is being decided by a judge. Before doing so, you should consider carefully what psychologists, political scientists, and legal scholars have learned about judges from negotiation research and social science: … Read More 

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