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A Suggested Conflict Resolution Approach

Present Opportunities to Save Face


If you want the individuals or group to take action, ask them now. If they take the action you request, thank them. If you can show respect by empowering the individual or group by giving them options rather than orders on how to resolve the situation. Empowerment and choices (even if they really aren't choices) make it possible for an individual or group to not be embarrassed or lose their pride in public or in front of their friends and, thereby, de-escalate an incident.


A person, who knows they are doing something wrong, usually does not want to admit it because they don't want to admit their mistake and lose face. The person stands their ground in order to not admit guilt. If you present a person opportunity to modify their behavior without having to admit they are wrong or back down, the person can "save face."


Take Small Steps


Getting someone to a agree to series of small concessions in order to de-escalate an incident is often easier than getting cooperation on multiple concessions at one time. Also, if you ask for something that is complicated, it is harder for the individual or group to understand what you want. You should keep your requests simple.


Group Crisis Intervention


Often groups are involved in a crisis situation, such as a drunken party at a club, a group of protestors or a group hanging out at the mall. When you want a disruptive group to disperse, it is best for you to talk to just one of the persons in the group alone. You should ask this one group member to assist in getting their group of friends to leave or disperse on their own, instead of being escorted out or forcibly dispersed. If you talk to this one person in the presence of the group, the person is less likely to help and cause the situation to escalate.


DO NOT Brag about Winning


If you get a person or group to do what you want, you should never brag or boost that you won. Bragging about winning could cause the individual or group to stop cooperating and go back to being uncooperative.

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