Communication is often a major factor in conflict resolution, they are closely related. Conflict resolution typically involves the use of various methods to determine the cause of a conflict and find a way to resolve that conflict which provides the highest amount of satisfaction possible for those involved. It is often done through the use of communication techniques and principles such as; active listening and the use of “I-statements.” Therefore, it can be said that communication and conflict resolution are connected, in that one is typically used as a common aspect of the other.
Communication typically refers to how two or more people transmit information between one another, both verbally and non-verbally. Conflict resolution is a process by which a conflict between two or more people is discussed, fully understood, and a solution to that conflict is determined which becomes beneficial for everyone involved. Communication techniques should be known to facilitate this process of conflict resolution. Different aspects of communication and conflict resolution are often used together.
One major way in which communication and conflict resolution are used together is in understanding the nature of a conflict and allowing those involved to express what is going on. Active listening is often involved in this process; it is a communication technique in which one person listens to another and reflects back what is said to indicate that he or she is actually listening and understanding the communicated ideas. This often involves asking questions, summarizing what is said, and demonstrating an interest in what the other person is saying.
The use of I-statements is also a way in which communication and conflict resolution are closely connected. I-statements are sentences that begin with the word “I” and allow a person to express his or her feelings in a way that takes ownership of those feelings. Conflict can often arise when two people blame each other for a particular situation or the way that situation makes them feel. “You always criticize me and make me feel useless” is a “You-statement” that assigns blame to someone else. When rephrased as an I-statement — “I feel unappreciated when I hear criticism all the time” — the blame has been removed, and the cause of the feelings can be addressed more dispassionately.
These methods are often used in both communication and conflict resolution, and this is why someone who is trained in dealing with mediation and conflict resolution must have a background in communication. People who wish to decrease or better resolve conflicts in their own lives can also use these techniques to facilitate communication between themselves and others better.