When a group wants to address and resolve a conflict, there are two conditions that need to be met right from the start. One, the people involved have to want a peaceful resolution, and two, they have to agree on the conflict resolution process.
In this three-minute video Craig explains how without meeting these conditions, the conflict resolution process is not likely to succeed.
This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.
Here’s what Craig says in the video
Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here. Sometimes, there is a pretty significant conflict in a group or between two groups of people and it’s got to be addressed. You might even decide to get a mediator or some professional help with resolving a conflict. But I’m here to say that before you try anything, if you really want a peaceful resolution, you’ve got to meet two conditions right from the get-go.
Number one, the people involved have to want a peaceful resolution, and number two, the people involved have to agree on the process.
Let me explain each of these a little more.
The people have got to want a peaceful resolution. Each individual has got to want resolution more than they want to get their own way. They’ve got to be voluntary participants. They can’t just be doing this because somebody’s making them do it; they can’t be going through the motions hoping that they’re going to get their way but if they don’t they will undermine it later. If you don’t have this condition met from the outset — everybody wanting a peaceful resolution — you’re likely not to achieve it at the end.
Second thing: Everybody agree on the process. And there’s three parts of that. One part is: What is the problem you’re trying to solve or the question you’re trying to answer? Make sure that everyone agrees to that right from the beginning. Actually write the words and get buy-in from everybody on the words. Number two: How is the decision ultimately going to be made? Does every single person have to agree? Is it okay at the end of the process to take a vote and everybody agrees that majority decides? Or maybe you leave the final decision up to a third party arbiter – maybe it’s a judge. But whatever it is, make sure that everybody from the beginning knows how the decision is going to be made at the end and agrees to respect that. Third thing about the process: that everybody is on board with the facilitator. If there is a third-party facilitator, everybody has got to believe in that person, have faith in that person, and believe that that person is going to be neutral and stick up for their interests in terms of process.
If you don’t have buy-in and acceptance of these initial conditions, you’re not likely to achieve peaceful resolution at the end.
Thanks for listening everybody. Good luck with your conflict resolution and helping your group make good decisions.