Matters related to divorce, child custody and other family law issues hit close to home. People are bound to have conflicts during this highly emotional time, yet, not everyone knows how to deal with conflict. Conflicts can raise emotions and lead to unsuccessful conversations, which is why it can be beneficial for all parties to work with a trained mediator.

Conflict resolution skills may not come naturally, so it helps to understand some of the basics before engaging in negotiations. Starting with these five tips, you can learn how to approach conflict in a constructive way.

  • Use a trained mediator: Finding a mediator can be one of the most successful tools in conflict resolution. Having a third-party present while you handle your conflict can bring a new perspective to the table. A mediator can even offer resolutions that you and the other party would not have thought of. Mediators can help you cope with the conflict in a sustainable way.
  • Find the conflict: You may find it useful to talk through the conflict with your mediator. This will give the mediator an insight on what the conflict is and reveal how you’re feeling about it. It may lead to the mediator digging out the root of the problem. Typically, the conflict you’re seeking resolution for is not the original issue. Finding what the root of the problem is will lead to a long-lasting solution.
  • Remain calm: It’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you during stressful situations. Emotions can cloud your judgement. A mediator will help you keep calm during conflict. It is also important to express your emotions over the situation in a constructive way. The way you react to stress before thinking can transfer into hurtful words and harm a constructive conversation.
  • Communicate: Communication is difficult when you’re so emotionally involved in the situation. Remember to remain honest about your feelings. Express your emotions so the other person can get your stance on the situation. It’s important to listen to their side. Conflict resolution cannot be achieved if the communication can’t flow both ways. A mediator can help keep a constructive conversation but if either party is not willing to listen, the conflict will remain.
  • Brainstorm resolutions: Conflict resolution is all about compromise. Before starting mediation, it is important to tell your mediator your wants and needs. Once everything is put out on the table, it will be easier to find common ground. Coming to a compromise is not easy. But, once a mediator helps outline available options, it will be easier for all parties to reach a decision together.

As families restructure, conflicts may seem inevitable. Understanding how to convey your emotions and what steps you need to take to come to a positive outcome will help the situation immensely. With these tips and a mediator, the success rate of your resolution will rise.