The “SO – What” Method: Six Steps to Resolving Conflict

Conflict: two forces in opposition. Resolution: the process of finding a mutually satisfying solution. There’s nothing threatening here yet for many they’d rather have a root canal rather than try to resolve a dispute. They either seek a quick departure or prepare themselves for an ugly battle. But conflict can be a very beneficial and productive force in any relationship if you have the proper skills and motives.

Too often when we begin the process we have one goal in mind – to find a solution to whatever the issue is. But somewhere along the way we become sidetracked with ideas of winning, getting what we want even at the expense of the other party. Other times our objective is to prove the other party wrong in an attempt to bolster our own self-image while simultaneously making them feel poorly about themselves. Furthermore, we mistakenly believe that because there are two opposing ideas one is automatically right and the other wrong. That notion is incorrect. Conflict is simply a matter of a difference of needs, opinions, or beliefs and very often has nothing at all to do with right or wrong.

Here are six simple strategies to smooth the process of conflict resolution called the SO-What Method:
SO: be Solution Oriented. Ask, “What happened? What needs to be done to resolve this situation?”

1. Always remember to attack the problem, not the person. Be respectful at all times.
2. Find common ground, a sameness, a link that bonds you to one another.
3. Approach as allies, not adversaries. Work together for the good of the whole.
4. Pay careful attention to your Attitude and Approach. Refrain from making inflammatory statements such as “What’s your problem?” Or, “This is all your fault.”
5. Choose a neutral location, one where both parties are on an equal playing field.
6. Know when to stop and take a break. Only issues of a life-threatening nature need to be resolved at that precise moment. Everything else can wait for a more suitable time.

In each scenario, we have the option to be part of the problem or part of the solution. SO-What? Be Solution Oriented. What can you do to resolve this situation to the satisfaction of all parties? It can be done with a few simple techniques and a thoughtful motive.

For more, read “Never Ever Ask This Question” @ and “M & M’s: Motive and Method @
Order your copy of The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth @

Related Posts