Questions to Resolve Conflict

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Conflict happens at work and at home. When people are at conflict, they normally want to resolve their issues and move past it. Conflict resolution starts when two people agree to work things out and they both express their feelings as to what their personal issue is with the other person. After this it helps for them to ask each other questions to resolve their differences.

Ask Fact-Based Questions

In order to properly understand the situation, a person in conflict should ask fact-based questions. Fact-based questions start with who, what, when, where and how. "How is it that I am making you feel uncomfortable?" is an example of a fact-based question. Allow the person to answer without interruption.

Ask Exploratory Questions

Exploratory questions help people in conflict learn more about what the problem is and how it can be solved. Exploratory questions include "Is this the only option we have for resolving this?" or "What ways do you think we can try to work this out?" Learning what the problem is and how each person feels it can best be resolved are important keys to conflict resolution.

Avoid Accusatory Questions

Using questions that seem accusatory just escalate the conflict. Be tactful and avoid questions such as "Why do you have to be this way?" or "Why can't you act like an adult?" Accusatory questions generally lead to yelling and, possibly, physical fighting. Conflicts can be resolved best if both people are calm and willing to talk it out like grown-ups.

Be Specific

Being specific with questions is important. Resolving conflict can only happen when both people understand where each are coming from. Make sure to ask why the conflict is happening, what made it escalate and how it can be resolved. It also is wise to take steps and ask questions to find out how to avoid any conflict with that person in the future.