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Conflict Resolution

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It's a truism that variety is the spice of life. The big, wide world, the passage of time, unique personalities and differing experiences create the infinite possibilities that keep us looking forward to what will happen next. In such an existence, conflict is inevitable. Controversy and debate can be fruitful. Sometimes we discover that there is more than one truth or answer. But other times, only one outcome can prevail and if it's not yours, you won't be happy.

You can start by communicating your views rationally, calmly and politely and hearing others' views fully and respectfully. Search for common ground—facts, values and goals that you share. Sometimes an apparently big disagreement can be reduced to a few issues that can be managed with understanding and compromise.

If a conflict is so vast, volatile or insurmountable that two-way communication is no longer viable, what are your options? If the conflict is between you and a parent, options for appeal are limited. When dealing with the initial contact at an agency or organization, there is usually a supervisor or manager to whom you may appeal for a more acceptable answer or outcome.

There are also many individuals and organizations who can go to bat for you. Some are dedicated to and experienced in mediating acceptable solutions within specific areas, like education or with specific agencies like social services units. If your rights are being denied, don’t give in. Seek the right resources and help to get justice.

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