While attending Hamline Law School's Dispute Resolution Institute, I studied many different ways to resolve conflict with professors from around the world.
In America, we have a legal system that has become over-crowded, very costly and may take years to navigate. As a result, most judges require two parties to attempt mediation before appearing before a judge and jury.
Frequently we use a form of mediation where we give permission to an attorney or retired judge to nudge the parties into a resolution they believe is fair and would be upheld in a court of law. The parties are not always happy with the resolution, but agree to it because the resolution is less painless than following through a lengthy and often costly legal proceeding, and often has less risk than asking a jury to decide an outcome.
There's also another form practiced in our country where a neutral third party who understands the dynamics of communication and conflict is chosen. That person works with the two parties to find their own mutually acceptable solution once some of the underlying emotions which led to the conflict in the first place are resolved. While this process can take longer, the results are usually better accepted by the two parties since they were the ones who ultimately created the solution.
Other cultures use different models, based on different beliefs about why conflict occurs and who holds responsibility for the outcomes. In one particular model, a community may come together to openly discuss the actions of an individual, determine why this person did what they did, and then decide who is going to support that individual to make change and take responsibility for their actions. For instance, if a man kills another man who has children, the community may decide that the community as a whole failed him by not teaching him the ramifications of his actions. The outcome may very well be that he is now responsible to raise and support that man's children as if they are his own. The community will then hold him accountable and support him to assure follow-through. That may include offering the man a job so he can financially support the children of the man he killed, or helping him to build a bigger home to house his new family.
I talk about these because I believe we often limit ourselves in how we believe we can resolve conflicts in our lives, both personally as well as professionally. I challenge you to think outside of those limitations, and to trust in the belief we all wish to live in peace, in a life that's easier and less complicated. When we approach conflict in that way and agree with the other party that all wish to resolve differences, the first level of trust is formed and sets the stage for many more levels to be reached. From there the path to resolution is as creative as the parties involved if given time and tools to achieve it.
Ronnie Roll has started several businesses from the "I Have An Idea" stage to grand openings and beyond. Her passion is helping others achieve their dreams, and her art mediums are business modeling and food.