To strike a balance between personal and professional life is a can of worms. In personal and professional life both, an individual meets numerous people. Some become acquaintances, some become friends, some become competitors and some become enemies. New relations are made every day, leaving old ones behind. In such a situation to maintain a balance between all relations is a hard nut to crack. Although these individuals have their own priorities, one thing is common in all of them; they all want to be taken care of, want to be understood and supported in all major decisions of life (Newsom et al., 2008).
There can be situations when an individual disagrees with his partner or family members over certain matters. For example, disagreement between parents and children is quite common. Children would want to try something risky and exciting and parents will always prove to be an obstacle in their way. This is because for parents, child's safety is more important than his wishes (Kellett, 2007).
Conflicts arise from differing needs
Considering other person's preferences is the back bone of any relationship, whether it is personal or professional. In personal relationship, individual needs to give the other person some room to breathe freely without any restrictions. Imposing one's wishes on someone else without taking into account their priorities will result in misunderstandings, increased arguments and break ups. In professional relationships competition is the starting point for any disagreement (Kellett, 2007). However, if an individual acknowledges the fact that every person has certain priorities and boundaries which should not be ignored, and agrees to resolve the differences by way of a considerate conversation; this can enhance the durability of a relationship along with implementing effective team building techniques which can benefit the organization as a whole (Newsom et al., 2008).
If disagreement is not resolved at an early stage, it can turn into a conflict. In practical life, people wrongly assume both words to mean the same. The reality conflicts with this perception. Conflict is the extreme stage of disagreement where both parties do not feel safe around each other and carry a general perception that the other intends to hurt him in some way either through hostility or avoidance. The intensity of feeling depends on an individual's cultural beliefs, values and life experiences, and this will also affect the way in which an individual deals with this problem. As time passes by, the roots of conflict gain more strength making the matter difficult to resolve. Therefore, it is important to reconcile the differences at an early stage. Ability of an individual to control his emotions assists in reaching to a reasonable solution. Although it is difficult, if a conflict is resolved it will further strengthen the relationship between two individuals as they gain confidence that their relationship is strong enough to face different challenges (Newsom et al., 2008).
Our earlier discussion clarifies the point that conflict should be resolved. The question to consider is how can the conflict be resolved? The most common approach adopted by the couple being studied here is to let bygones be bygones. In this way, both the parties will remain silent and the matter will not be taken to the table for discussion. History reveals that this approach is not effective. Expression of feelings is a prerequisite of healthy relationship. If either individual will remain silent over an issue to avoid any further disagreement, this will give rise to bitterness and antipathy which will result in negativity. The individual will feel bad about the tiniest things and feelings of hatred will keep on piling up in their heart up till the point of saturation. And when the bubble bursts, it will break the relationship into tiny pieces. Along with this, an unresolved conflict can adversely affect an individual's physical condition and durability. The sooner this couple realizes that, the quicker will they adopt the suggested conflict resolutions tactics we suggest (Newsom et al., 2008).
Resolving a conflict is not like taking candy from a baby. One wrong move can ruin the whole situation. John Gottman based his research on couple's fight and had the ability to analyze conflict resolution skills to envisage the future of couple. Conflict resolution skills are not inherent; one has to develop them with time and experience. This article entails the guiding principle that guarantees effective resolution of a conflict between a couple that had the tendency to be hostile to each other or opt to avoid a conflict altogether (see Gottman and Carrere, 1999).
Get in touch with your feelings
At first instance, this step appears to be illogical. There is a general perception that all individuals are aware of their feelings, but in reality this is not absolute. For example, most of the times we are in a low mood without any obvious reason, or we are generally disappointed with someone irrespective of the fact that the person might be on the right path. Therefore, the first step is to explore your inner self, to determine what you really want and what exactly do you feel about the other person. Unless you are clear about your own emotions you cannot convey those to others. Hence, we suggest journaling and psychotherapy to the chosen couple as these are two effective ways of judging one's own feelings. There is a possibility that problem lies within the individual him or herself and has nothing to do with the other person's actions (see Gottman and Carrere, 1999). Hence, it is important for the couple in question here to clearly analyze where they went wrong in the relationship as opposed to always play the blame game.
Hone your listening skills
Hostile conflict exists between these two chosen individuals; therefore, it is important to relate to them that they have to let the other person express his/her feelings in the same manner as you would want to express yours. Listening to other person's views will make the other person feel valued and in majority cases, the conflict will be resolved through this. However, if listening has to serve its actual purpose it requires the individual to put in a little effort. Listening can help identify the crack in the relationship but only if you actively listen to other person's views. In times of conflict, an individual is so engrossed in proving himself right that even while listening he will be preparing for counter response to justify his stance. Such an approach is not healthy. If an individual is willing to resolve the conflict, he needs to listen to other person's views with an open mind (Scott, 2011).
Apply assertive mode of communication
A person needs to be confident and assertive when putting forward his point. At this point, the difference between assertive and aggressive is worth mentioning to remove any doubts for the chosen couple. This step requires an individual to clearly convey one's feelings without starting a blame game. For example, to use the words "I feel," instead of "You did this" can help resolving the conflict without initiating another. Again, the emphasis is to communicate all feelings and emotions clearly without hiding anything (Kellett, 2007).
Search for an appropriate solution
When both the parties are clear about each other's views and feelings along with their own, it is the time to enter into a win-win situation. Once all doubts have been cleared it is easy to reach to a compromise. If conflict arose due to misunderstanding, a simple 'sorry' can do the job. In other situations, a mere apology is not enough and serious efforts are required to reconcile the differences. Options available to both parties include that if views of both parties do not cross paths, they can agree to live with their disagreements peacefully. On the contrary, if the views do intersect, then one of them can agree to compromise on the condition that the other person will also be able to do the deed at some time in future in a different situation (Scott, 2011).
Know when it's not working
It is important to resolve a conflict if a person wants to maintain a healthy relationship. This is an ideal situation and in practical life, things can be different. It depends upon the individual and how much he values the relationship. There is a point when one has to choose between one's own self-respect and importance of the other person in their life. For example, if a couple got into a conflict because of abusing and misbehaving, the individual has to keep his/her safety and self-respect on a priority. In such cases, to let go of the relationship can be the best thing to do. In other situations, when an individual has a conflict with family members, then priorities will change. The individual can agree not to cross certain boundaries and live their lives peacefully. Concluding, the decision depends entirely on the individual and the couple and their priorities in a given situation (Childre and Rozman, 2005;…