Non-Violent Conflict Resolution – Life skills notes KNEC

Conflict resolution

Non-Violent Conflict Resolution

This is connected with intra and interpersonal relations, negotiating skills, coping with emotions and stress. Conflicts are unavoidable and sometimes necessary but non-violent conflict resolution ensures that such conflicts do not become destructive. This can either involve a person resolving his/her conflict situation or assisting others to come to an understanding without resulting to fighting.

Conflicts can also be internal when and individual has two opposing feelings or views about an issue or situation. Well resolved conflicts results in having a peaceful environment

Situations that may lead to conflict

  • During the process of adjustment to forced change
  • When various groups are not in agreement
  • when some societal groups feel left out when new agreements are being implemented
  • Sexual harassment
  • Poor relationships
  • Prejudice
  • Unfair sharing of resources

Causes of Conflicts




  1. The action of one person, attempting to maximize his/her needs and benefits therefore, prevents, blocks, interferes and injures, or in some way makes less effective the actions of another person
  2. Two parties perceive needs, values and goals differently Scarcity of resources and uncertainty
  3. Information deficiency – misinformation and misinterpretations
  4. Personality differences – perceptions and expectations
  5. Various forms of discrimination including gender, racial and tribal prejudices Poor styles of leadership
  6. Lack of co-operation, non-compliance with rules and policies Communication breakdown and poor team work
  7. Autocratic management styles
  8. Disruptions of established work groups and administrative routines

Consequences of conflicts

  • War/tribal clashes
  • Dropping out of school
  • Drug abuse
  • Committing suicide

Types of conflicts

  • Destructive conflicts: unmanaged struggle that jeopardizes the relationship between people
  • Constructive conflict: managed struggle involving changes in relationship Ways of dealing with conflicts
  • There are many ways of dealing with conflict. The three most common ways are:
  • Fight: in a fight people are aggressive with one another. Fighting can be done with words, weapons, or fists. There is a battle of some sort, and there will be one winner and one looser
  • Flight: in a flight situation, one person walks away from the conflict. The problem is left unresolved, again with a one winner looser. Common ‘flight’ language includes ‘never mind’, ‘just forget’, and ‘whatever’
  • Flow: in flow situation, both people walk away from the conflict satisfied with the solution. Conflict resolution encourages everyone to ‘go with the flow’ and create solution.

Others may include:

  • Appreciation and willingness to accept that there is a conflict exists
  • Identify the sources of conflict
  • Evaluate how one has contributed to the conflict and the individual’s role in resolving it o Seek reconciliation with the other party
  • Willingness and commitment to listen attentively and being empathic
  • Willingness to apologize when one is wrong and to demonstrate forgiveness and encourage a reasonable solution to the conflict
  • Development of good problem solving skills, decision making, empathy, critical thinking and effective communication skills for effective conflict resolution




Conflict resolution skills

  • empathy
  • seeking assistance
  • decision-making
  • critical thinking
  • assertiveness
  • negation

Institutions that resolve conflicts in the community

  • courts
  • religious institutions
  • committees
  • council of elders

Values Related to Conflict Resolution

  • Co-operation
  • Humility
  • Tolerance
  • Responsibility
  • Peace as a core value in conflict resolution



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