When thinking about conflict resolution strategies, several options pop up into your mind.
Yet each circumstance, due to their distinctive features such as goals to be achieved, how much leverage you do (or don't) have and/or constraints that tend to directly influence the action to be taken-have specific requirements, thus specific different approaches. It can
therefore be stated with certainty that suggesting an approach is like offering a person a shirt when in real sense you have little knowledge of their dressing preference, the type of weather experienced at their residential places, or even the preferred dressing code of their assumed destinations. Despite these, when deliberating on dispute resolution approaches, there are a handful of key factors that are linked to almost all approaches. To extend the above shirt correlation, regardless of your dressing preference, the weather
experienced or the dress code preference of a particular place or occasion, you will definitely need underwear.
From my 17 year experience in delivering workshops on conflict resolution strategies, it has come to my knowledge that there is one ultimate impediment that make people too often get snared into conflicts, be it at the work place or within the family, this huddle is the
human need to understand. It blocks an individual from moving forward.

Our need to understand is a self-centered one. If you are conversant with my 'Rationalism Egoism' model called the I Win (Which is explained in depth in my book The I Win
Negotiation & Conflict Approach: Compromise Less And Win More with A Better Alternative To The Win-Win Approach), then you will side with me on the fact that I don’t
have a hard feeling about selfishness, but that I have made claim that it is the stepping stone of any action, a collaborative one to be precise. Even so, the need to understand is not devoid of setbacks as it tends to blind us, thereby preventing us from doing the right thing. The prospects that you will be able to take in the other person’s point of view, his actions, or even his motives are more often than not slim. During difficult situations in general and conflicts particular, the human mind is subjected to processes that in a way tend to hinder
us from fully duplicating other points of view. Most of the times, we fully arm ourselves with sustainable examples to fully back our reason for sticking to our own idea. When in this state, we are totally unable to identify with any other opinion that may be brought
forward, resulting into further buildup of the resentment we have against the other party.
It is therefore apparent that the need to understand, playing alongside the inability to understand, generates a vicious cycle, that among other things, stirs up the pot of conflict.
One naked fact about this insatiable need to understand is that it is a futile one. It is fruitless both by content and process. Collaboration does not need understanding of the other person’s motives, constraints or interests in order for it to flourish. The only
requirements is the acceptance of the other person’s ideas, and then merge with yours, whatever positive that seems to suit your needs for the solution. Now take a bit of your precious time and re-evaluate this, what happens if you never get to understand the other
side’s need? A need that you have branded as obsessive and compulsive yet the probable solution that you might create will be one that you will live with and which will be capable of answering all that which you term as important to you? My conclusion is that understanding is not a necessary condition for the formation of a mutual and satisfying solution, but rather a stumbling block to the creation of such a solution.
If either of the parties involved clutches onto this innate human need of understanding,
then the vicious cycle illustrated earlier is unavoidable. To avoid this situation, one of the two warring sides must relinquish this need and then program himself/herself towards initiating dispute management actions. If by chance both parties get too much enthralled by their need to understand, then there isn’t any chance of reaching a constructive solution since the need to understand forms a complete barrier which prevents the conflicting parties from instigating a dispute management process. This far you might be nodding in affirmation that my idea is plain palpable, well, as
discernible as it may sound, the main hurdle is not in an individual’s mental prowess of discerning it, but in the actual real life implementation of the idea. Thus if my idea blends well with your thoughts, kindly focus your energy into turning this understanding into a practical tool, and make it one of your most treasured gems and weapon for managing conflicts.
In order to be able to turn cognitive understanding into a worthy behavioral change, there is need of integrating constant awareness into circumstances that require its implantation.
For example, if you are working on a weight reduction plan, the procedure requires the identification of reasons and/or situation that prompt you to take more food, and then dedicate your understanding to the situations that make you prone to overeating.
My advice to you is that in the next conflict you encounter, be vigilant to the rise of the need
to understand the dynamics of the conflict within you. In the event that you feel aggravated by the fact that you are unable to understand the other side’s behavior, and you hear yourself cursing the state that you do not see the moral uprightness in their actions, kindly
make use of the cognitive understanding you have learned from this text. Let it sink into your mind that not only are you incapable of understanding the other side, but also that there is an immense chance that such an understanding will not be of help to you in creating an ideal solution.
Here is the catch; this strategy is by far easier written than done. The ego that shrouds our
mind during a conflict has tremendous power over us and is therefore more likely to counter our attempts of denying it its power. Any individual who is above 40 years of age can attest to the immense prices they ever had to pay as a result of their egoistic need of
understanding. So now that you are armed with this understanding, work towards dissolving your own ego.

More information about the connection between the conflicts and ego can be found in my book ‘The Romance of Ego & Conflict: A Practical & Spiritual Guide For Improving Your Conflict & Negotiation Abilities By Dissolving Your Own Ego’.

Author's Bio: 

With academic background in Economics, Accountancy, Law and Philosophy Asaf Shani is a highly experienced facilitator - consultant - trainer on confrontational situations. A Confrontational situation is a situation in which two entities (groups or individuals), holding opposing viewpoints, meet. Every conflict, negotiation, sales encounter, a difficult conversation etc, falls into this category.

Asaf started his way in the M&A division of Delloite & Touche, then in the beginning of 2001 he established Shani Mediation Inc. which specializes in consulting and training corporations and individuals.

He developed unique models like the I Win model and Unravel the conflict methodology that were successfully implemented in giant firms like IBM, Microsoft, Intel, HP, Coca-Cola, Nokia, Orange, along with government agencies, hospitals and many SMB organizations.

His hobbies include Kung-Fu, horse riding, swimming and jogging.