Tips for Resolving Conflict using the PEACE Process

Tips for Resolving Conflict using the PEACE Process

Shame, guilt, and self-blame are not typical feelings we have when we are thinking about a loved one, however, they can develop from conflict in the relationship. Conflict can come up in even the healthiest of relationships. OMC has developed Tips for Resolving Conflict using the PEACE Process as a way to help those involved with conflict:

P Pause – To get your emotions under control by speaking in a lower tone or softly, breathe deeply, speak slower, smile, and watch your body language. 55% of the way we communicate is through body language; when our body language is closed, often you will find that people are already or are becoming that way too. Body language is a good gauge to monitor escalation of tempers before they flare out of control.

E Engage – The other person in the conversation using active listening skills to find out what’s going on. Give your full attention to the speaker; be aware of non-verbal messages (body language); acknowledge and validate the emotional state of the individual (“I hear that you are frustrated with this situation…”); restate what you hear by taking an idea or a concept and restating it in neutral language. Summarize the dialogue by giving an overview of what’s been said to validate your understanding. Point out areas of commonality. Do not interrupt, advise, judge, dominate, interrogate, challenge, accuse, contradict, criticize, name-call or put-down individuals as these bad communication habits can stop a conversation short.

A Ask – Questions to gain further understanding and clarification about what’s being said. Questions should be open-ended, neutral, and void of judgments (i.e. “tell me more about what’s going on”, “what do I need to know about this situation?”, “how has the situation impacted you?” Questions should not make anyone uncomfortable and irritated; avoid questions beginning with “why” as they create defensiveness and put people on the spot, and be aware of the tone of voice in which the question is asked.

C Create – Options for resolution together by brainstorming solutions that meet each other’s needs. During the brainstorming phase remember that all ideas are good ideas, think creatively, don’t criticize each other’s idea; give yourselves the opportunity to identify as many possible solutions as possible.

E Evaluate – Each brainstormed option to see which works best and decide on a solution that is fair and works for everyone!