Let’s face it, in society today, conflict is occurring more than ever. Freedom of speech is being expressed extensively on street corners, viewed on the television screen, and blogged across the internet. With the economic downturn, businesses are on edge, consumers are more demanding and everyone is fearful of what is to come next.

This heightened tension combined with extensive vocal expression of beliefs often leads to conflict. How we address these times of conflict may very well determine the level of success we are able to achieve throughout our lifetime.

Given the fact that times are changing, so too shouldn’t our approach to handling conflict? Some of you may very well be aware of these techniques, but to others, these concepts may be the paradigm shifted needed to achieve far greater success.

  1. Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood

Pride allows us to assume that what we perceive others to believe, we assume as fact. We base all our decisions on often unfounded (and generally wrong) beliefs, and are surprised when there is a disconnect and a problem arises. If you are able to accurately understand the others desires, you may very well find a mutually acceptable outcome for both parties.

  1. Sacrifice can be Valued on what is Given, Compared to what is Potentially Gained

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” sounds a bit archaic, but is absolutely still valid in society. By finding out how important certain concessions are to your opponent, you may be able to sacrifice what is a nominal component in your operation, yet that may be the golden, missing piece that has a monumental impact for your counterpart.  Remember, making a sacrifice does not mean you are losing or are weak, it means you are playing strategically.

  1. Check Your Ego at the Door

Many conflicts are not resolved, because in reality, the issues that appear on the table are not really the issues at all. The issues have a deeper undercurrent that is fundamentally based in a “winners” mentality and that one must “win” at the expense of another. If egos are removed, and the true issues are dealt with, there is a much higher likelihood that the conflict will be resolved, and it will be resolved in a quick, and hopefully peaceful manner.

Conflicts take on a variety of forms and degrees, but if one can have a thorough and proper understanding of the situation, they will be in a much better position to solve the issues at hand. Remember, don’t be afraid to take an unconventional approach in order to achieve greater success. Those who master this technique not only think outside the box, they are invisible to its shape.

What are other suggestions for managing conflicts in hopes of solving them in an efficient manner? I’d love to hear about unique ways people have found to solve conflicts.