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Very often in my life I have found myself in the middle of the conflict. We have to be very wise, diplomatic and try to help to solve the problem if somebody asks us to. Many times people know how to sort it out or what must be done to solve the problem but they are too emotionally involved and at that moment and they simply are not able to do anything.
If such a situation happened it is good to listen and give them time to calm down. It can take just few minutes or longer period of time. Important thing is to keep patient; this may be hard to do but it is important to keep a cool head. At times I am required to mediate discussions over a period of time until both parties feel that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction. Might be conflicts at work, between husband and wife, among friends, among children at school or at home.
1. Firstly when we want to manage disagreements the skill of listening to both sides of the conflict and assessing the whole situation is required before making any decisions. I Also checking their non-verbal communication and make sure I am aware of what caused the conflict in reality.
Working with Roma children I found out that sometimes they bring their conflicts from previous disagreement. Verbal conflicts are easier to manage than physical disagreements.
2. Secondly I must be completely sure that both sides want and are ready to resolve the conflict. If the children stay angry or refuse to communicate helping them to negotiate will be impossible to do. Few days ago one Roma boy was hit by another friend. They kept saying different stories what happened to them as they were looking at this problem from their own point of view. Other children witnessed the incident and helped by explaining what happened. Sometimes I ask both sides separately as this gives more of a clearer picture and I make sure they are honest.
3. Next important issue during the whole process of helping to manage disagreements is that I will act as a helper for resolving the issue but allow them to have some responsibility in sorting the problem out. They must do it by themselves. I can lead the discussion or help them to find resolution this will encourage them to sort differences and enable them to feel proud. We have to know the personalities of children or adults involved. Otherwise, not knowing the weakest points can cause barriers and this will result in the problem not being solved.
4. Another very important point is win/win resolutions. This means that both parties will gain once the disagreement has been resolved. Once I feel that I have identified the real issue, I will point it out to them and ask them if they agree. This will end the disagreement and will also dismiss any future problems that may occur.
When any disagreement happens be creative solving it. Try to think of as many different solutions to the problem as you can. The mediator and the parties involved should try to think through the conflict before any meetings, and then again when you get together and begin your discussion. Allow your discussion to flow in as many different directions as they can, as long as emotions don’t get too heated, in order to resolve the conflict effectively. The most important thing is to take other peoples feeling into consideration.
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