Conflict can move through many stages. But what about the resolution stage post-conflict? I'm Marlene, and today I'd like to talk about resolution and post-conflict with you in this tutorial.
Let's start by reviewing the stages of conflict. I have them here on the board. Pre-conflict, of course, is before the conflict actually starts. Something could be brewing, but you're not quite aware of it yet.
Then we move into conflict. And as you notice, there are a number of stages here within conflict. Discomfort being the first one, where you have that vague feeling that something's not quite right.
Then perhaps an incident occurs, that's the next stage. Now things are in the open, followed by misunderstanding. If things have not been resolved, there's usually a series of misunderstandings at this stage, which can lead to tension.
Tensions build. And the last stage is full-blown crisis. And these stages here are stages that can be revisited during the conflict. What do I mean by that?
What I mean is that a conflict can escalate or de-escalate, depending on whether or not a resolution was complete. So what does that mean really, escalate and de-escalate? Let's take a look at that.
So I would like to define these terms for you. When a conflict escalates, it's movement of a conflict from a less intense or harmful stage to a more intense or harmful stage. For example, if it escalates, it's going to move from discomfort here perhaps down to misunderstanding and tension.
De-escalation would be the opposite. So de-escalation is movement of a conflict from a more harmful or intense stage to a less intense or harmful one. So in that case, you might be at misunderstanding, for example, but let's say you clear that up. And things aren't completely solved, but you move back to feeling just a little uncomfortable, so that's an example of discomfort.
So an escalation and de-escalation can continue to happen during this stage of a conflict. Then we reach post-conflict. Of course, that's where we all want to be. We want to have the conflict resolved. So let's look at resolution and post-conflict.
So what is the resolution stage? The resolution stage is a deliberate action or group of actions to help parties meet their respective and mutual needs. And when that is successful, it leads to post-conflict, the last stage here. And post-conflict is the relationship between parties after a conflict has been resolved. And, of course, the relationship after the conflict has been resolved should be coming back into harmony.
Now I think it's important to note that you can have an intervention at any one of these levels. And if it's successful, for example, if you intervene at the discomfort level, and you have a successful intervention, you can go straight from discomfort down to post-conflict. So the resolution can happen at any stage.
Let me give you a couple of examples. If you are at that discomfort stage, let's say, you and a group of friends have been planning a surprise party. It's a birthday party for a mutual friend. And you divvied up the tasks, but you're starting to feel a little uncomfortable because people aren't keeping their part of the bargain.
And you feel like you are the one that's doing most of the organizing. You're just a little uncomfortable here with the situation and how this party planning is going. So you decide right away, while you're feeling this discomfort, that you're going to call the couple of friends that you're planning the party with, sit down, and tell them how you're feeling and look at the list of tasks you've laid out and revisit that, iron things out. That would be an example of resolving a conflict in the discomfort stage, if indeed the dialogue was successful and you felt as though things now are going more smoothly.
Let's move to another stage here, let's say, misunderstanding. You've been getting a lot of work that you have to do on your job, new deadline, and the emails have been coming fast and furious. And there's one co-worker that just keeps sending you emails that sound a little harsh, saying, "action requested," "do this now," "where is that," "I expect this by the end of the day."
And you're really feeling a little harassed. You're really upset. This has been going on for a while. And you decide, at this point, you're actually going to have a talk with him or her.
And before you do that, you may have ended up talking to another co-worker, who shares something about what is really going on in this project and how this particular person who's been sending you the emails is actually taking on extra work because someone's been out sick. So when you have the discussion with your friend, you find out, she didn't intend anything at all by these emails. She's just overworked and sending things out very quickly, not realizing how they're coming across.
So those are a couple of examples of how, if you intervene at any particular level here, whether it be discomfort, misunderstanding, it could be any of these levels, you can move right to resolution. So, in closing, let me say that these levels of conflict, when you are in conflict, you can escalate or de-escalate among these levels of conflict, these stages, depending upon whether a resolution is complete or not. If it's incomplete, you can restart this process of escalation and de-escalation.
But once it is complete and you certainly can resolve at any level, it leads to post-conflict and harmonious relationships between the parties that were in conflict. So thank you for being part of this tutorial. And I look forward to seeing you next time.