Commonly Used Distinctions
Conflict and violence are not the same thing
Whereas conflict is not inherently negative or damaging, and can in fact produce positive outcomes, violence always results in injury and destruction.
Adversarial versus cooperative approaches to conflict
Adversarial approaches to settle disputes occur when parties in conflict perceive themselves as opponents competing for mutually incompatible outcomes. By contrast, the cooperative or problem-solving approach involves both sides collaborating - merging resources to seek solutions that address everyone's interests and are mutually beneficial.
Advocating for common ground
Advocating for a process Versus advocating for one side.
Impartiality versus neutrality
You can be impartial, if not completely neutral. Being impartial is working with people on both sides - our hearts might go out to those we feel have been wronged, naturally - however, our work is to bring people to the table to talk, to get them into dialogue about what they can do to improve the situation.
Reframing, or creating a new context, is a technique of shifting perceptions. In mediation and negotiation, this method is used to recast a conflict in neutral terms to break deadlocks or stalemates and make further progress in attaining a joint resolution.
Conflict management versus conflict
Conflict management involves taking action to keep a conflict from escalating further It usually does not address the deep-rooted issues that may be at the cause of the conflict or attempt to bring about a solution. Conflict resolution, by contrast, seeks to resolve the deep rooted issues at the heart of conflict.
Positions are points of view that are generally more specific and narrower in scope than interests. Interests tend to be fundamental needs, while a position is often a statement of opinion about how to achieve that need.
People in conflict are often more concerned with winning the argument than listening attentively. Active listening is a structured form of communication that focuses the attention on the speaker in order to improve mutual understanding and facilitate problem solving.
speaking is a communication process whereby a speaker appeals
to another individual's higher self - the deepest level of
humanity within each individual where dignity, integrity and
compassion resonate the strongest. Often the key to achieving
this is for the speaker to come from a place of respect,
compassion and understanding. Active speaking is a courageous,
creative act that usually requires the speaker to rise above
their fears and concerns and speak from their own highest
sense of self.
The absolute reality of a conflict situation is often less important than what each party's perception of that situation is. For example, while there may be no actual stated threat of violence between groups, the simple perception of a threat may be enough to bring one or both disputants to action. Reference: Yarn, D., 1999, Dictionary of Conflict Resolution. Jossey-Bass Inc., San Francisco.
Reference: Yarn, D., 1999, Dictionary of
Conflict Resolution. Jossey-Bass Inc., San Francisco.