After the conversation has shifted to slow speech and quick listening, try to uncover any hidden needs. Erin and I I each had needs that were difficult to express. I didn't want to spend extra time to pass such a difficult class; while Erin wanted us to finish school on time.
Addressing those hidden needs was essential as we moved toward a solution. As you attempt to uncover such needs, it can be helpful to ask questions like, "What is really going on?" or "What must change or happen to meet your needs?"
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3. Create a "win-win" solution.
Once your emotions have settled and constructive communication exists, the third step in resolving conflicts is to find a "win-win" solution. This doesn't necessarily mean compromising. Sometimes compromising creates a quick-fix solution where no one is pleased with the outcome. Furthermore, important issues may be overlooked. Instead, in a "win-win" situation, needs are met on both sides. In our conflict, a "win-win" situation was found when we decided that I would ask two different professors what they thought about me dropping the class. After seeking wise advice, Erin and I both felt that the right decision was for me to remain in the class. As it turned out, I got an "A" and Erin was right once again! Win-win solutions can be created in a variety of different ways. Techniques like "brainstorming" and "pros vs. cons" lists work great.
After a "win-win" solution is found, the resolution process isn't complete until you've made sure that forgiveness has taken place. This step is so crucial because emotional injury can occur when resentment or anger continues after the conflict has ended. Although feelings may be hurt once the argument has finished, it's important not to let the sun go down on your anger. Therefore, try to identify your own contribution to the problem and seek forgiveness.
When All Else Fails …
If after unsuccessful attempts have been made to solve a conflict, or if you are exhausted from the physical as well as emotional strain, it might be time to find a person (e.g., counselor or pastor) who can intercede and help bring about reconciliation. Remember: "The way of a fool is right in his won eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel"