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Approaching Conflict for the Best Outcome

May 16, 2023

Conflict Management Tips on Approaching Conflict for the best outcome

Written by Randy Gott, Institute for Conflict Management Alumnus

Ronald Reagan once said – “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to resolve
conflict peacefully”. As I thought about this quote, I thought about how relevant this is in our world
today. Too often, those in conflict see the resolution as only “getting their way” or “winning”.


However, when we see people, organizations, churches, or families work through conflict with
vulnerability and patience, we are witnessing a level of emotional maturity that some find
difficult to achieve.

Conflict resolution is not about keeping score or winning, it is about vulnerability,
understanding, compassion and patience. It is seeking to achieve an outcome that is
appropriate and right. It is finding the right solution that can preserve a relationship, improve
communication, and provide an opportunity for growth and maturity.

We have all seen situations in our individual worlds where a conflict is nearly unresolvable
because one party wants to be right or wants to make sure the other party pays a price for
what has happened. We have witnessed a dispute where one side cannot move beyond casting
blame or gaining revenge.

Achieving reconciliation in conflict or successfully resolving a dispute is about the emotional
maturity of the parties involved. So, what does that look like? In my view, it is about being
vulnerable, responding with honesty and compassion rather than anger, being patient, active
listening and understanding.

Is this achievable in all situations? Of course not. But those involved in the reconciliation
process can work with parties to help them move beyond their anger, need to be right, and
combative nature. Remember, reconciliation is typically a process that requires patience and
devotion to achieve a peaceful settlement.


Learn more about the Institute for Conflict Management or earn a Certificate in Conflict Management or a Master's in Conflict Management. 

The Institute for Conflict Management is housed in the College of Leadership & Public Service at Lipscomb University. 

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