The no-lose method of conflict resolution allows everyone to work together in order to find mutually agreed upon solutions which work for everyone.
First, you must set the stage for how the no-lose method will work:
- Begin by telling your child clearly and concisely that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Make it understood that you wish to work with your child in order to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone.
- Agree on a time to work on the problem when there won’t be distractions.
There are six steps to the no-lose method:
- Identify and define the problem. During this time, the needs of everyone should be stated. Many times the true problem is different from what we originally perceive it to be. Parents should be conscious not to give solutions instead of defining needs. You should tell your child clearly and as strongly as you feel exactly what feelings you have and what needs of yours are not being met or what is bothering you. I-messages are useful in order to avoid put down messages or blame. Active listening is a useful tool for distinguishing between needs and possible solutions and to make certain you understand your child’s needs. State the conflict or problem so that everyone agrees what the true issue is.
- Generate possible alternative solutions. This is where brainstorming comes in. Everyone is welcome to offer possible solutions. In fact, parents should encourage their children to offer soultions first. Children are very insightful and may offer solutions that parents had not even considered. Avoid evaluating and showing preference for any solution. At this point in time, you are only brainstorming possibilities.
- Evaluate alternative solutions. Figure out what each person is willing to do. Narrow down solutions to one or two best possibilities. Be honest with one another about how you feel regarding each possible solution.
- Decide on best acceptable solution. By this point in the process, one solution may clearly stand out from all of the others and be accepted by all involved parties. If not, verbally test out some of the other solutions and see if they would work for everyone. remember that solutions are not final. Life isn’t static. If the tried solution doesn’t work for everyone, reevaluate and change. Multi-part solutions may need to be written down in order to help everyone remember. It should be clear to everyone that they are making a commitment to try the solution.
- Work out ways to implement the solution. Discuss the details needed in order to implement the solution and gather any necessary tools.
- Follow up to evaluate if the solution worked. Don’t forget to check back with everyone to see if the solution is working. If not, reeveluate and find something that works better for all those involved.