Much like how conflict is inherently varied, conflict resolution is equally varied. Mastering conflict resolution involves developing a wide range of skills.
“Mediation is only one fraction of what the area involves,” Claire says. “In Conflict Management and Resolution at JCU, you can learn the skills for mediation, but you also learn the skills to be an effective negotiator and conflict coach. Those skills have different nuances and processes that you can apply to your work as well as your personal life.”
Claire describes these skills as a conflict management toolbox. When you have many tools within that box, you can draw on them for any role that you find yourself in — because if you’re around people, there’s a high chance you’ll face some conflict at some point.
“If you’re in a management role, for example, often you’re working with people to try to get the best output and outcome from them within a team setting,” Claire says. “So, you need to have the skills to be able to support people to work well together. A lot of that comes down to navigating relationships between people and the way in which relationships can be navigated is through good communication.”
We’re all different — we all have different needs, different goals, different ideals. Our differences will inevitably conflict with others’ differences, especially in settings like workplaces, families, and teams. If one key to managing conflict is listening to find the true message, another key is to develop a conflict culture.
“Conflict is inevitable,” Claire says. “It’s going to occur. So, part of learning how to manage conflict is asking yourself what skills you have in place to support yourself and others when conflict arises. What culture are you helping to develop in your spheres to help manage conflict? How does that culture view or define resolution?”
Asking these questions of ourselves, learning about how we can communicate effectively, and gaining the skills to manage conflict guide us to create a conflict culture that doesn’t see conflict as an obstacle, but rather as a building block to create stronger foundations in our relationships, in our households, and in our workplaces.