Facilitating Conflict Resolution

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Check out these recommendations for facilitating conflict resolution.

Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH, provides helpful suggestions and approaches for those who find themselves facing conflict within their organization, with a patient, or otherwise.

"Think of it as a negotiation process that will enhance stronger relationships, facilitate collaboration, maintain peace and morale, achieve common goals, reduce stress, and provide an opportunity for insight and understanding."

The first step is to observe and acknowledge the other person's position, even if you do not agree. Then, try to compare their position or experiences with your own. What are your biases and influences? What is the source of this conflict? Validate their concerns without judgment. Aim to understand them, then work together in a neutral and collaborative manner. It may take time. Compromise might be a useful temporary step before reaching a more permanent solution.

Dr Noonan is a physician, mental health and wellness coach; author of 5 books on managing mental health and mood disorders with a print and video blog; consultant; group facilitator; and certified peer specialist. Dr Noonan is the inaugural recipient of the National Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Peer Support Specialist of the Year 2022. Her most recent book, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, is Reconnecting After Isolation: Coping With Anxiety, Depression, Grief, PTSD, and More.

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