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Tools for resolving conflict between members

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Conflicts happen between members, it is inevitable! This is something we can expect when members have different expectations, world views, and ideas about how their division, squad, or the whole of how Overdosed should be run. This makes conflict management critical, whether we are avoiding arguments, disputes, long lasting conflicts and hatred, or ultimately a member being disabled or quitting the clan.

Conflicts can be avoided if division/squad leaders take necessary steps early in the discussion to diffuse anger and facilitate communication between members. Imagine if we could resolve most of our conflicts peacefully without certain members quitting, holding anger inside, or holding negative feelings towards Overdosed? Below are some suggestions for success.

Stay Calm

One great quote that I recently heard regarding conflict by Thomas Jefferson was this: "Nothing gives one so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances." I cannot stress this quote enough. If someone is publicly personally attacking you, remain calm, cool, collected, and stick to the facts. My friend Terra(OD) taught me this personally, and I also learned this the hard way with her a time or two seven years ago. Do not engage in ad hominem attacks against the person who is causing you trouble. It is important in avoiding later embarrassment by checking in with our own personal boiling point before responding.

Listen and Understand

Think about the conflict you had with the other members. When most of us get into a dispute, the first thing we do is stop listening. The only way to settle a dispute or solve any kind of a problem is to listen carefully to what the other person is saying. Perhaps they will surprise you with reason, or their point is actually true. What they really want is for the situation to be fixed, not to insult you personally, most of the time.

Psychologists tell us that anger is a secondary emotion and that it is usually triggered as a defense mechanism to cover up hurt or fear. When someone is angry, there is usually some hurt or fear that he/she is embarrassed about, or perhaps even unaware of because the anger is so all consuming. In order to diffuse people's anger, you must listen to them. Hear them out. Let them go until they have run out of gas. Let them vent as long as they can until they begin to calm down. You then will see a person start to slow down some, and begin to feel safe enough to finally tell you that what frustrated him or her so much.

Focus on the Positive

It is important to find some commonalities, or create them, between you and the person on the other end. It is helpful and empathetic to say, "Man I know what you are going through. I've had a similar situation just recently." This serves to normalize the situation. It tells someone that he/she is not the only one who has gone through this and that his or her reaction to it is normal. That may help to calm the person right away.

State your Case with Tact and Care

It is important to approach every situation with fact and care. Show the other person that you care, that you feel value in their approach and can understand where they are coming from. Connect with the other person on a more real level, and do what you can to keep it as respectful and as peacefully as possible. When we approach our problems this way, it can only benefit Overdosed, its divisions, and its squads.

Attack the Problem, Not the Person

Your points will be heard more clearly if you can depersonalize your comments and point only at the issue. Rather than accusing people of "always messing things up" or "causing problems," it is better to say, "We'll have to take a closer look at why this keeps happening." In most statements that we make in a dispute, we are fighting with our own anger and are tempted to put a zinger into the point we are trying to get across. You will be heard better and improve your chances of resolving the issue the way you want if you can catch yourself and take the zinger out.

Don't Point Fingers, Avoid the Blame Game

Assigning blame is only helpful in one instance in problem solving - if you assign it to yourself. Generally speaking, figuring out whose fault something is does not do any good if the goal is to fix a problem. It is a diversion and sometimes a costly one because if a person feels blamed, he/she often checks out of a conversation. The trick to resolving clashes is to focus on problem solving, rather than pointing fingers. Focus on what you and the others can do to solve a problem and make it better, and it will be behind you before you know it.

Be Creative

Brainstorm. Remember that everything is negotiable. Feel free to think outside of the box in order to expand happiness of all. Make it so that no idea is too far fetched. Being creative with resolutions takes longer, but can yield a true win-win solution.

Be Confident!

Many people are afraid of confrontation and shy away from it. it is important to take the issue head on and solve it as quickly as you can. You owe it to your division, squad, and the clan as a whole.

Celebrate your Agreement!

This is a hard process. It requires two people to remain in an uncomfortable, potentially confrontational position for a long time to rebuild trust and be creative while trying to figure out the best, rather than the fastest, solution. Once it is accomplished, both you and the person you are talking to deserve a good pat on the back. There is nothing wrong with playing some games or chatting to celebrate the resolution of a dispute that could have been destructive, but that ended with a win-win solution where everyone was satisfied. This is an important process for avoiding more serious disputes such as intense drama and losing OD members.. Congratulate yourself and your partner in this solution. After all, nothing is more important than your division and Overdosed's survival.

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     I like this post ,I try to read everything (like some of the resignations are very humorous), but I have seen many disagreements are based on personality clash, or outside influences affecting the emotional makeup of the person. As we are all human (except for me, I identify as a small dog) emotion clouds reason. When we are angry, or grieving, or happy, the emotion can cloud reason.

     This is why I try to make a joke about everything, as humor can defuse almost any situation. Unfortunately sometimes the humor cannot overcome the person, and conflict persists. This is bad, as I have seen some "cliques" develop in the division I am most active in (Diablo2), and I try to be especially nice to those who may be shunned by some <captain purplez(OD) is a master of this, she could give a graduate course on civility, how to defuse conflict, and just being plain nice>.

     In conclusion (I know I talk too much, it is one of my flaws), remember we are all here to have fun, not to score "social cutting points" off of people, and try to laugh at the basic absurdity of life, as there is never enough time to laugh, love or do the good we all want to do in the end.

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His post had some pretty good insight in it. It's just a pity the writer wasn't very good at following his own teachings.

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