A Conflict Resolution Technique

This is a technique that can be used when conflict arises between two people who must work together. One person can initiate the process, or better yet a work group can decide to adopt the method as one of the ways to improve their ability to function effectively as a team.

  1. One person (A) goes to another (B) and says: "I would like to have a dialogue with you. Is now O.K.?" The reason person A wants to initiate a dialogue might include:
  2. The person (B) receiving the request for a dialogue grants it now if possible. If not, a mutually suitable time is agreed upon.
  3. In the dialogue, the requester (A) states what's on his/her mind.
  4. When A is finished, B paraphrases as follows
  5. When A has finished and B has paraphrased everything, the two switch roles. B now states how s/he feels about the situation, and A paraphrases as in step 4 above.
  6. When the two are finished taking turns stating what's on their minds and paraphrasing each other, A asks "Is there anything more we need to talk about?"
  7. Then A makes a behavior change request. B paraphrases the request and then either grants it or asks for another option if it wouldn't work for him/her in which case A gives another option.
  8. A says "Thank you" to B, and B responds"You're welcome."
  9. When paraphrasing, if your mind shifts to something else, or is constructing a response, stop and say "Let me paraphrase back to you what I've heard so far."
  10. If desirable, a mutually agreed upon third party can be asked to witness and facilitate the process.

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