Managing Conflicts: Essential Conflict Resolution Skills for The Youth

Imagine how much better the world would have been if people in power knew how to resolve conflicts better. It’s not that people don’t desire to end conflict—they just don’t know how to.

There are only cons in a conflict—they’re never good for any party involved. Conflicts, crises, and quarrels tend to get very ugly very soon—and without the right arsenal to combat such a heated situation, many young people find themselves in disadvantaged situations.

The same would not be the case with the right mentorship, however.

Stepping Back
Taking one step back allows you to prepare for steps ahead—but how do you drill this edict into young, headstrong minds? Teaching young people that retreat does not necessarily mean submission or failure is a hard task—but it’s one that can be achieved with the right mentorship.

Stepping back into the (figurative) balcony allows one to view the situation from a distance—and thus, view it more objectively. It ensures personal prejudice does not mar the cause—and that all angles are duly considered. It’s part of a leader’s survival guide.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Many people, when faced with a conflict and uncomfortable truths, would rather be mum about things that they should be talking about. A problem does not go away if it’s ignored.

Teaching young people the importance of addressing uncomfortable truths and scenarios is part of teaching them to be a better conflict resolver. After all, how does one solve a problem without recognizing it in the first place?

Finally, it’s imperative for a leader to be able to communicate—what they’re feeling and what others are feeling. And they don’t just need to communicate—they need to communicate well. Public speaking, diffusing a potentially hostile situation, forming friendships/alliances and working towards a mutual cause—all require communication skills.

If a leader cannot convince and cannot communicate, all is truly lost. Remember the Emperor from The Last Samurai who failed to speak up? His country ended up in a civil war he did not want—and even if it’s fictional, it’s a brilliant mirroring of real life.

Young people can be pugnacious—but they can also be made to polish their raw passions and sublimate them into ambition. The right choice of a mentor, having a vision for the big picture, good communication skills, and a sense of responsibility all come together in levelheaded young individuals who can handle crises well.

Through their formative years, young people who are exposed to leaders and problem solvers also grow up to be chips off the old block. Conflict resolution might not be taught in schools and colleges—but it ought to be. Until it isn’t treated as the integral life skill that it is, young people have forums like Youth with a Future to turn to.

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