Effective techniques for conflict resolution include hearing all sides to fully understand the situation, attempting to problem solve so that all sides win, negotiating a solution and exploring acceptable compromises. In some cases, an authority figure can make a decision that resolves the conflict.
Listening to understand each side's perspective and reasoning is a step that precedes the other conflict resolution techniques. This ensures that the issues are clearly identified and gives each side the chance to fully understand the other's point of view and feelings about the situation. Everyone should agree on what the problem is before moving to the next step.
Brainstorming possible solutions can sometimes resolve the problem quickly. This means generating a number of ideas without evaluating them at first. Let others in the group expand on the suggestions. Allow odd and controversial ideas at this stage, then review each one. This may lead to a win-win solution.
Negotiating a solution may require some compromise, but each side can choose which compromises are acceptable. Each side may have to give up something, but both can move forward.
Alternatively, one side may elect to accommodate the other side by doing what the other side wants. The sacrifice carries the benefit of preserving a good relationship.
In some cases, an authority figure such as a boss may simply dictate a solution to the conflict. This may not always satisfy the parties involved, but it can help get past an impasse.