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Tips for Transforming Conflict

2012 December 6
by sfcg

You Will Build the Next 30 Years of Common Ground

Most of us are aware that there is a more constructive way to deal with conflict. Typically called a win-win, collaborative or cooperative approach, it can be applied to all kinds of conflict, from small everyday disputes between individuals to large ones that divide communities.

After 30 years spent shifting attitudes, we know that violence is not inevitable. When the parties to a conflict have the opportunity to understand each other, they can find a solution that works for everyone involved.

So, how do we move from an adversarial approach to a common ground approach?

Here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Accept that conflicts are a natural part of life: 
    Conflict is the natural result of differences in the world.
  2. Treat conflict as an opportunity: 
    Conflicts are neither positive nor negative in themselves.
  3. Be aware of your initial reaction and take a deep breath. 
  4. Choose your approach: 
    There are always choices in a conflict. Some conflicts are just not worth dealing with.
  5. Listen and learn: 
    Ask questions and listen.   We all want to be heard and understood.
  6. Discover what’s important: 
    Disagreements over positions can cloud our common interests.
  7. Respect each other.
  8. Be creative: 
    There are always many different ways to solve a problem and meet a need.

Looking ahead the next 30 years, our world faces unprecedented challenges. Our common problems – economic, ethnic, or environmental – are too complex to be solved from a win-lose approach; we have to work together. You can help us foster a more cooperative world.

Join us in leading the way toward a world characterized by cooperation and respect. Together, we will change the shape of the future. We can make violence unthinkable by #2042.

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