Finding Solutions

Finding solutions is the bottom-line of conflict management and lay the foundation of conflict resolution. There may be several strategies in the pipeline may have different approaches based on the organizational purpose and mandate.

First criteria for finding solutions are of ‘Arbitration’. Arbitration involves a third party with the authority to decide on an outcome to the conflict between the parties.

Other criteria for finding solutions in a conflict are of ‘Conciliation’. Conciliation is sometimes called providing "Good Offices.” The third party may bring the sides together and carry messages back and forth.  Third criterion is ‘Facilitation’.

Facilitation may involve acting as a moderator in a meeting, and making sure that each side is able to speak and be heard. Facilitators are not expected to offer their own ideas or actively move the parties toward agreement.

Fourth option for finding solutions in a conflict is of ‘Mediation’. Mediation has a third party actively helping parties find a solution they cannot find by themselves. Pure mediation involves helping parties to find their solutions, and the possible injection of ideas.

Power mediation adds to this process: leverage to persuade the parties, positive and negative incentives to achieve an agreement, outside resources to monitor or implement an agreement, authority to advice, suggest or influence.

Try to get the parties from focusing on the past. Get them to imagine the future solution and how to get there. Determine an order for dealing with the issues involved in the grievance; there may be added aspects of the problem that need to be addressed in finding a solution.

Have no hard and fast rule for deciding the order in which to tackle issues. Think about options for dealing with people, practical or substantive problems. Evaluation and prioritization of options like time, need, resource availability, practicality and feasibility is really important.


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