Conflict interferes with the ability to achieve some desired outcome. Reacting reflexively may contribute to a dynamic that leads to conflict because it tends to foreclose discussion and entrench positions. Exploring psychological and emotional triggers to gain insight into behavior that may be natural but counterproductive is hard work but is a critical component of growth. Taking ownership of the part we have played in a dispute actually frees us up to understand the other sides’ contribution.
A rational approach to conflict is always possible, but as humans we are not always able to overcome strong emotions to reach a mutual solution. Although both sides may hold the key to a solution, they are often unable to recognize who holds that key. A mediator can be very effective in facilitating interaction focused on needs, common interests, and solutions.