• Conflict Resolution Tips

    Cool down and Relax: Take the time to think about how you feel and be calm enough to talk in a rational manner.

    Decide to solve the problem: Let the other person know that you’d like to speak to him/her regarding a problem. Stay calm and don’t make the problem worse.

    Share your feelings: Talk about the situation using an “I message.” Be honest and specific about your feelings. Don’t use words like “always, never, every time.” Answer any questions the other person asks. (If either of you begins to get angry or frustrated, excuse yourself, and ask to resolve the issue at another time, when you are both calm. Perhaps at this point you might want to enlist a third party to help.)

    Listen: Give the other person space to share their point of view. When the other person is finished ask any questions you have.

    Find a solution: Brainstorm possible solutions, separately or together. Decide on a solution plan that is respectful, safe, and responsible. Put the plan into action.

    Make a plan for the future: Think of better ways to handle the situation if it happens again. Agree to try the idea the next time.

    An "I Message"

    Starts with I… not you

    • Clearly and simply states how you feel

    I feel ….

    • Clearly and simply states what the other person did or is doing that made you feel that way

    I feel ….. when you …..

    • Clearly states why you feel the way you do

    I feel ….when you …. because…..

    • Clearly states what you need the other person to do

    I feel ….when you… because…… I want you to……

    So it might look like this:

    I feel angry when you call me names because I have a real name. I want you to start calling me by my real name.
    I feel frustrated when you change the rules in the middle of the game, because it makes it difficult to play fairly. I need you to follow the rules so we can play a fair game.
    I’m upset because you push me and I lost my place in line. I need you to let me back in my space and keep your hands to yourself.
    From The Bully Free Classroom by Allan L. Beane, PhD., copyright@ 1999 Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; (866) 703-7322 http://www.freespirit.com.