10 Commandments of Conflict Resolution

  1. In the words of the eminent Scottish poet Robert Burns, try to see yourself as others see you.
  2. Strive also to see others as they see themselves.
  3. Clearly define the issues at the outset of the dispute.
  4. Remember, you can’t argue about a fact, but only be ignorant of it.
  5. Bluffing and puffing in the manner of the buyer in the Bible’s Proverbs, is permissible: “It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer; but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.”
  6. False statements of facts are not permissible. As the Bible’s Proverbs warns: “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.”
  7. Credibility is key. It is earned or lost through past and present performance and reputation. Take good care of it. Credibility is a valuable asset.
  8. Silence and body language can be as significant as words and deeds. Be as careful of what you don’t say and do as you are of what you do say and do.
  9. As the Bible tells us : “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” including “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” This is also true of a negotiation.
  10. Bear in mind the Bible’s admonition: “A wrathful man stirreth up strife but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”