• Objective sight words (mediator, exchanged, angry, address, dispute, accident, clarification, event, heart, peers, structure, framework); concepts (conflict resolution)


    By: Sue Peterson

           Conflict resolution is a peaceful way of trying to solve a conflict with resolution. Both sides in the conflict explain what they feel happened to cause the conflict. The person who listens to both sides is called the mediator.  

           After both sides state what they feel happened to cause the conflict, they discuss ways to solve the conflict. They try to come up with a “resolution” that both sides agree to.

           Communication throughout the entire conflict resolution process is always exchanged in a calm manner without anger. Everyone attempts to use good listening and Vocabulary mediator clarification exchanged event angry heart address peers dispute structure accident framework attending skills while people are talking. If voices get too loud or it appears that someone is angry, the mediator’s role is to address this and have the people treat each other with respect.

           After various suggestions are shared in how to mediate the conflict, discussion centers on the best solution. Conflict resolution can also be called dispute resolution. It is used in many environments to help solve disagreements in a peaceful way.

           This is an example of how conflict resolution works in a school playground setting:

    • Someone says that a student pushed them on the soccer field.

    • The person accused as the “pusher” claims it was an accident.

    • The person pushed gets the mediator.

    • The mediator takes the two people who are upset somewhere in a quieter spot and away from others to talk.

    • The mediator calms everyone down and lets them know that he understands their feelings.

    • Each person describes what happened.

    • The mediator asks for clarification if something is not clear.

    • The mediator repeats what he heard so it is clear to everyone and /she identifies with those involved.

    • The mediator asks for ideas to solve the problem.

    • The two individuals offer ideas and solutions to the problem.

    • The individuals discuss the ideas and solutions and come to some agreement on the solution.

    • The mediator makes sure the individuals follow through on the solution whether it is to say they are sorry, to shake hands or to play nicely together, etc.

    • The mediator offers praise for solving the problem.

             Conflict resolution can work in many settings and it can work with several individuals at once. In any event, it is worth trying to get at the heart of the matter by involving the peers themselves who have a concern. It encourages them to analyze what really happened, to share their feelings about the conflict, and to work together peacefully to solve the problem. Conflict resolution gives those involved a structure to use with a mediator to help reach an agreement. It allows onlookers to see a workable framework.