April 22, 2024
Conflict Resolution Solutions

Understanding Conflict Causes and Resolution Methods Mediation, Arbitration, and Consensus Building

Causes of Conflicts

There are various reasons why conflicts arise between individuals and groups. Some of the common causes of conflicts include:

– Differences in interests, needs or priorities: People often have diverging interests, needs, priorities or goals which can clash and fuel conflicts. For example, in a business employees and managers may have different interests which can lead to disagreements.

– Scarcity of resources: Competition over limited resources like money, land, jobs etc. is a major reason for conflicts to erupt. When important resources are insufficient for all parties’ needs, it creates tensions.

– Miscommunication and misunderstandings: Poor communication, lack of empathy and misunderstandings about each other’s perspectives and intentions are widespread triggers for conflicts to emerge and escalate.

– Pre-existing prejudices: Long standing prejudices based on race, religion, gender etc. can instigate conflicts even in otherwise trivial matters. Prejudices often lead to misinterpretations and heightened sensitivities.

– Personality differences: Conflicts are also caused by inherent personality traits and differences between individuals. For example, disagreements arise when people have opposite temperaments of being aggressive versus passive.

Mediation and Negotiation

Mediation and negotiation are frequently used non-adversarial methods to resolve conflicts through open dialogue and compromise. Some key aspects:

– Mediation involves the help of an impartial third party known as a mediator to facilitate discussions between conflicting parties. The mediator helps parties understand each other’s perspectives better and find mutually acceptable solutions.

– Mediation creates a comfortable environment Conflict Resolution Solutions for open communication where parties can voice their concerns freely without attacking the other. It allows exploring interests behind conflicting positions.

– Negotiation is a process where parties directly engage in discussions to narrow their differences and arrive at an agreement. It involves flexible bargaining and compromise from both sides.

– Both mediation and negotiation aim to settle conflicts through cooperation instead of competition or legalistic means. They result in voluntary agreements endorsed by parties themselves.

– For these methods to succeed, parties must be willing to listen with empathy, identify common interests and priorities, and suggest pragmatic solutions agreeable to everyone.


When conflicts defy mediation or negotiation and parties are unwilling to compromise, arbitration can provide a workable solution. Here are some key aspects of arbitration:

– Arbitration involves referring the conflict to a neutral third party known as an arbitrator, much like a private judge, who reviews facts and arguments of both sides.

– The arbitrator has the authority to make a decision about the resolution after hearing from parties. This decision or “arbitration award” is usually final and binding on parties.

– Parties agree in advance to accept the arbitration award so there is no need for further litigation. This makes the process quicker than formal lawsuits.

– Arbitration is less formal compared to court proceedings and arbitrators have flexibility to fashion creative solutions based on principles of fairness.

– It maintains privacy as proceedings are typically confidential. However, the final award becomes a public record.

– Costs are also generally lower than full-fledged court battles. Arbitration is thus a time and cost effective way to resolve conflicts through a quasi-judicial private process.

Consensus Building

For intractable conflicts engulfing large groups of people, building consensus is considered an important solution. The goal of consensus is to develop solutions agreeable to all major stakeholders rather than just settling for a simple or numerical majority.

– It involves bringing together all affected parties on a negotiating platform and working to understand their interests, constraints and viewpoints.

– Discussions aim at exploring possible common grounds, blending different perspectives and crafting mutually endorsed solutions instead of winner-takes-all outcomes.

– Consensus relies heavily on active participation of stakeholders, flexibility, trust-building measures and give-and-take from all sides to reach an agreement satisfactory to everyone.

– It ensures long term viability, stability and buy-in for resolutions since all major groups take collective ownership of the outcome.

– Consensus is a gradual, deliberative and sometimes arduous process but results in all-encompassing and sturdier resolutions for complex, multi-party conflicts.

– For large groups, subgroups can be formed to narrow differences before finalizing a consensual solution endorsed by all sides.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it