October 21st 2020

Conflict Resolution Day 2020

At the OCCS we specialise in helping both the general public and optical professionals to resolve their conflicts without the need for costly or slow litigation.

World Conflict Resolution Day (15 October) was created by American organisation the ACR (the Association for Conflict Resolution) to promote awareness of ways in which conflict can be resolved. Conceived in 2005, the day seeks to:

  • Promote awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation and other creative, peaceful means of resolving conflict
  • Promote the use of conflict resolution in schools, families, businesses, communities, governments and the legal system
  • Recognize the significant contributions of (peaceful) conflict resolvers; and
  • Obtain national synergy by having celebrations happen across the country and around the world on the same day

In both our professional and personal lives, however hard we try, conflict can be an inevitable experience. Whilst it goes without saying that most people actively avoid conflict, conflict does not have to be a negative thing.

Indeed, conflict itself can often mask important conversations and questions that may need addressing and, befittingly, we think of the old adage: ‘it isn’t what you say, it is how you say it’.

Conflict, in essence, can be a useful tool to progress if it is used wisely. However, when conflict does occur it is important to not dwell within it and to move forward together to reach an outcome that benefits both parties. Below we share three key bits of advice that can move out of conflict towards reconciliation and resolution.

Listening is an artform and whilst many of us may think that we listen it is important to recognise a difference between passive and active listening.

Passive listening is when you are being addressed and are not fully taking in what the other party is saying or seeking to understand what they mean. In this space it is very much likely that a misunderstanding can occur and that the speaker may, understandably, not feel heard which can lead to setbacks and resentments.

Active listening on the other hand, when the speaker is given one’s full attention is a very useful tool to possess. By actively listening to what is being said, by understanding a different perspective, it can be possible to understand what the issue is and, through directly understanding the issue, it is possible to move towards resolution.

Clear Communication
Much like listening, speaking is skill that may need to be improved. Speaking directly, however uncomfortable this may feel at the time, is a powerful tool to have.

By being able to clearly speak, to express your needs, thoughts and wants through crisp, direct language the listener is give a clear message and clear framework within a conversation to address and understand.

Clear communication is not about verbose sentences or obscure language, clear communication is about directly addressing your needs and requirements. By voicing the issues and needs that you wish to address you not only give the other party the chance to respond and understand but you also make yourself heard.

At the heart of conflict resolution is the concept of empathy. Empathy can be defined as ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.’

Understanding what is going on for someone is of the utmost importance when seeking to resolve a conflict as empathy allows for both listening and clear communication to be established.

In essence, empathy is the bridge in which resolution and mediation can be developed. It may be difficult to see through strong emotions and frustrations but by practicing empathy the start of the journey to resolution not only begins but becomes much easier.

For more information on conflict resolution within the optical industry, contact our team via 0344 800 5071 enquiries@opticalcomplaints.co.uk.

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