Conflict Management

With head, heart and hand!

Advocacy, adjudication, bargaining, conciliation, mediation, negotiation, and withdrawal are examples of conflict management. Professionals in the field of conflict management often encourage parties in conflict, who share common relationships, to develop mutual ground or a shared narrative. Ideally this is to attain a workable outcome that parties can live with to resolve their disputes.

At times parties in dispute may require the assistance of an impartial mediator to achieve a sense of closure for all concerned. This process can be particularly helpful in situations involving groups such as:

  • couples and families;
  • employers and employees;
  • retailers and suppliers;
  • teenagers and parents;
  • victims and offenders;
  • wherever conflict is seen to exist, for example, between parties to a contract.

Family law and other related issues might become quite emotionally laden areas. Professionals who are involved with the area of conflict management could have varying styles, which can be shaped by their individual differences. Before interventions begin parties may sign agreements to the effect that what occurs in conflict management sessions is intended, for example, to remain confidential. Materials may include those that are taken from telephone, email, and face-to-face sessions between the parties and professionals. Policies and practices that are linked to conflict management may fluctuate between diverse jurisdictions.

Conflicts can occur when it is viewed that contracts have not been acted upon. There is merit should parties have conflicts they could give their written grievances to each other (CCH Commentary, 2012). Conflicts may arise if the seller does not deliver goods, or other types of legal rights as mentioned in the contract. The purchaser has a right to obtain the goods, or other forms of legal rights as indicated in the contract. Written and oral communications often include the contexts, issues in conflict and their preferred results.

Focus in conflict management and human rights seem to be on developing autonomy, liberty or peace. Deviant behaviours that disrupt peace could provide opportunities for individuals and communities to learn and to heal (Hassell, 1996, pp. 31-32). Conflict management strategies, including mediation, may be applied in formal or less official situations to address disputes (Barsky, 2000, pp. 185-186). A common theme that binds approaches to conflict management and human rights is giving parties the dignity of exercising personal or social choices. An individual’s or group’s opportunities to exercise personal or social choice may be limited by the law. However, at a central core individuals and groups might have some level of autonomy. Citations to the literature are available upon request.

“To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war” (Sir Winston Churchill).

The images in the slideshow on this page mainly show coastal wildlife from California. 

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