Conflict Resolution in Gilgitbaltistan
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From Streets to Battlefield: Exploring the Preference for Conflict Resolution

The method used by two or more parties, whether formal or informal, to settle their differences amicably is called conflict resolution. There are several typical emotional and cognitive pitfalls that can intensify conflict and increase the need for resolution, many of which are unconscious:

Self-serving perception of justice

Instead of determining what is fair from a neutral point of view, we determine what seems fair to us and then use fairness to justify our preference. For example, department heads are likely to believe that they should receive the majority of the annual budget. Conflicts arise from disagreements about what is fair.

An excessive sense of self-confidence

Our tendency to overestimate our own powers of judgment leads us to disappointment. It is common for disputants to overestimate their chances of winning a lawsuit, for example, which could cause them to reject a negotiated settlement that could save them money and effort.

Higher level of commitment

Whether negotiating a merger, a labor strike, or a disagreement with a colleague, negotiators are prone to irrationally intensify their commitment to a strategy they have chosen, even if it has proven effective. We make valiant efforts to recover our previous legal fees and other expenses in the event of a disagreement, but neglect to recognize that these “sunk costs” should not affect our future decisions.

Avoiding confrontations

Because unpleasant emotions make us anxious and worried, we might try to suppress them in the hope that they will go away. In fact, when people avoid facing their intense emotions, conflict tends to escalate and parties require conflict resolution more than before.

Given these and other potential pitfalls, how can you implement a positive conflict resolution process when dealing with conflict in the workplace and in other contexts. There are several methods of conflict resolution:

Bargaining

When it comes to conflict resolution, you can and should apply the same principles of cooperative negotiation that you use when closing deals. For example, you should explore the motivations behind the parties’ attitudes, such as the desire to repair a damaged business relationship or settle differences without drawing adverse attention to each other. Next, figure out your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA—what you’ll do, such as finding a new partner or filing a lawsuit, if an agreement can’t be reached. You may be able to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution to your conflict without the help of third parties if you consider all your options and seek compromises on various points.

Conciliation proceedings

In mediation, parties to a conflict seek the assistance of an experienced, impartial third party to reach a resolution. Professional mediators help the parties consider the interests underlying their positions rather than forcing them to settle. Mediators work with the parties in groups and individually to help them reach a mutually acceptable, voluntary and non-binding settlement.

Conciliation proceedings

A neutral third party acts as a judge in an arbitration proceeding, which may resemble a court proceeding in that decisions are made to end the dispute. After hearing all arguments and supporting documentation from both sides, the arbitrator will make a final, legally binding and often private decision. Disputing parties can negotiate most aspects of the arbitration process, such as whether lawyers will be present and whether evidentiary standards will be used, although they usually cannot challenge the arbitrator’s decision.

Court cases

A judge or jury will consider the facts and make a decision in a civil dispute between a defendant and a plaintiff. The speaker’s testimony in courts and hearings usually becomes a matter of public record. Litigation is usually dominated by lawyers, and settlements are discussed in pretrial proceedings.

Generally speaking, it makes sense to begin with less formal and less costly dispute resolution processes such as mediation and negotiation before committing more resources, both financial and time, to arbitration and litigation. Your ability to mediate an amicable settlement of your conflicts can be further enhanced with conflict resolution training.

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