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Men as social beings live in environment where they interact with each other whether at home or at work. As people interact, there arise interpersonal conflicts due to conflicting opinions that they hold. Conflict among human beings is therefore inevitable and people have to look for conflict resolutions and other means of enhancing peace among them.
Conflict resolution and peacemaking are part of human life. Leader and team managers usually confronts with the different visions of the people they lead. Most of the times, people try to avoid conflicts through denial and avoidance of the conflicting opinions that lead to conflicts. This later backfires because the actual cause of conflicts remains hidden and may arise again if not resolved. It is important t understand and manage conflicts so that we curb their future occurrences.
Conflict Resolution and Peace Making
Conflict resolution and peacemaking has become a major domain in psychology and is used at all level where conflict arises. Conflicts may arise at different levels including “personal, intrapersonal, political, and diplomatic relations” (Herbert, 2005, pg 1).
Traditionally, the psychology of conflict resolution was regarded as resolution for conflicts between persons or between organizations. The principle of conflict resolution and peace making, however, considers conflicts of international nature. Herbert (2005) in his article presents the role of trust as a dimension of peacemaking and resolving the conflicts of international nature.
He argues that trust is of paramount importance in managing relationships between individuals and organizations or international relations of different states. It creates a peaceful environment between the relating parties whether individuals, organizations or states. In all groups and intrapersonal relations, trust aids in developing mutual responsiveness which helps create peace and mutual understanding.
For conflicts of international nature, trust is fundamental in ensuring fair exchange between parties involved and it also helps resolve the disagreements between the parties. Parties wishing to enter into conflict resolution, they should build trust between them (Filley, 1975). This is only possible if there is peace between the parties. Parties should therefore enter into peace process first then the conflict resolution process.
Trust is therefore the basic element of international conflict resolution. The trust theory comprises a set of elements that are used in conflict resolution and peacemaking strategies both locally or internationally. These elements creates a psychological ladder upon which all conflicts resolutions and peacemaking could be achieved by the individuals, organizations, groups and also parties of international nature.
Elements of conflict resolution and peacemaking
As noted in the paragraph above, trust is the basic element of conflict resolution and peacemaking. Other elements that are under trust include “development of commitment, reassurance, the participation of the third party, and ultimately the formation of stable trust relations between former enemies” (Herbert, 2005, 1).
The parties need to develop commitment to the terms that binds them together. Without commitment, the conflicts will always arise between parties because the bond between them could only subsist if the arties are committed to fulfill their agreed obligations. Intrapersonal conflict also needs commitment to the duties that one has and other issue that he/she is dealing with.
This kind of conflict occurs when somebody is having conflicting issues or opinions. He is unable to settle matters surrounding conflicting issues. He has to be committed to the issues and try to complete them satisfactorily.
After the conflict arises and the parties resolve to settle them, the parties need to reassure each other that they are willing to continue relating peacefully. This reassurance gives the partiers the confidence that the conflicts have been resolved. They should also reassure their commitment to maintain peace among themselves and remain trustworthy to each other.
Conflict resolution and peacemaking is easily achieved where there is participation of a third party. The parties must agree to have intervention of the third in to their relationship and help resolve the differences. The third party is necessary where the conflicting parties are not willing to face each other directly during resolution. The third party tries to bring consensus between the conflicting parties by listening to the opinions of each of them and reasoning out with them (Filley, 1975).
The final element of conflict resolution and peacemaking is the establishment of stable trust relations between the parties which will enable third future dealings to be peaceful. Trust is only established where there is peace between the parties. All the other elements are meant at building peace between the parties while establishment of trust is meant at maintaining peace between them.
Conflicts may arise at individual level, group level, within organizations and even between states. Conflicts disrupt peace among the conflicting groups and to restore it, the conflicts must be resolved. The process of conflict resolution and peacemaking is generally aimed at developing trust between conflicting groups. It is guided by several elements that fall under trust. These elements are essential and should be ensured in order for trust to be build between the conflicting parties.
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These elements as discussed in this paper and stated by Herbert include “These elements include the development of commitment, reassurance, the participation of the third party, and ultimately the formation of stable trust relations between former enemies” (Herbert, 2005, 1). The parties must be actively involved in the resolution of conflicts. Otherwise the solution might never achieve.
Filley, A.C. (1975). Interpersonal Conflict Resolution. Glenview IL: Scott, Foresman.
Herbert, C. K. (2005). Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking Paper. US: MightyStudents.com. Web.