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Conflict Resolution Rules and Steps


Obtain agreement from all parties that they will:

  • Work to resolve the conflict.
  • Treat each other with respect.
  • Be clear and truthful about what is really bothering them and what they want to change.
  • Listen to other participants and make an effort to understand the views of others.
  • Be willing to take responsibility for their behavior.
  • Be willing to compromise.


  1. Arrange for all parties to confront the problem.
    • Select a time as soon as all parties have cooled down.
    • Meet at a place that is neutral for all parties.
  2. Have all participants describe the conflict in clear terms and describe behaviors, feelings and desired changes.
    • Direct participants to use I, not you, and to focus on specific behaviors and problems, not on people.
  3. Ask participants to restate what the others have said.
  4. Summarize the conflict based on what you have heard and obtain agreement from participants.
  5. Start brainstorming to find solutions.
    • Ask each participant to offer a solution.
    • List all of the options presented (either verbally or on flip chart).
    • Discuss all of the options in a positive manner.
    • Rule out any options that participants agree are unworkable.
  6. Summarize all possible options for a solution.
  7. Assign further analysis of each option to a participant.
  8. Obtain agreement from all parties on next steps.
  9. Close meeting by having participants shake hands, apologize and thank each other for working to resolve the conflict.


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