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What Is the Connection Between Conflict Resolution and Negotiation?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2014
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The concepts of conflict resolution and negotiation are often discussed together since negotiation can be an important element in resolving a conflict. Conflict resolution typically focuses on bringing two or more conflicted parties together, discussing and exploring the issues behind their conflict, and then finding a resolution to those issues that is satisfactory for all parties. Negotiation is often a part of this process, though other methods can be used, and it involves a procedure by which each party makes compromises and concessions to find a resolution. There are also a number of colleges and universities that offer programs in conflict resolution and negotiation for business and communications students.

The process of effective conflict resolution can involve a number of different strategies to find a resolution to any type of conflict, which the various parties can find satisfying. This usually requires compromise and concessions by both parties involved in the conflict. Such conflict resolution is often intended to result in an agreement that is “win-win,” which means that each party feels satisfied with the ultimate resolution.

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This attempt at a “win-win” result is why conflict resolution and negotiation are so often connected and discussed together. Negotiation is a process by which conflict resolution can ultimately come about, as each party involved meets and discusses what it wants to have happen to end the conflict. This often begins with certain demands or conditions each party’s wishes to see met, and continues with compromises and concessions by each party to create a final resolution. Conflict resolution and negotiation also typically utilize creative thinking to result in a creative compromise that may go beyond the superficial demands of each party, to address any underlying issues or desires of each party that could otherwise result in future conflict.

Many colleges and universities offer programs focusing on conflict resolution and negotiation for students. This type of program is typically designed for graduate students and focuses on various methodologies and practices used in both conflict resolution and negotiation as a means to effectively reach such a resolution. A degree in this type of program is often pursued by someone interested in working at higher levels within a corporation or business, and is often pursued by students in advanced business or communications programs.

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