Do youth need conflict resolution skills? Part 1

Strategies to improve communication with conflict resolution tips.

Do you or the youth in your life need conflict resolution skills? The fact is conflict exists in our lives and in the lives of the youth around us. Unresolved conflict can damage a group's capacity for teamwork or destroy the self-esteem of individuals. Helping youth learn how to deal with conflict offers many benefits. Youth learn to be good listeners, clear communicators and possibly most importantly, they learn how to communicate their ideas and opinions in a way that adds value to future collaborative efforts.

While conflict resolution is a skill developed over time and may involve many techniques, there are some common tips to help youth work through conflict.

Conflict resolution tips:

  • Step back and think.
  • Understand your goals for the conversation.
  • Listen to understand.
  • Communicate your feelings without placing blame.
  • Be aware of your own defensiveness.
  • Acknowledge your assumptions.
  • Seek common ground.
  • Understand the other's point of view by asking clarifying questions.
  • Know that conflict can be healthy.
  • Separate people from problems.

This is the first in a series of articles discussing conflict resolution with youth. The Michigan 4-H science team understands the value and importance of teamwork. Helping youth develop the ability to successfully resolve conflict is an important skill for future success in science and in life.

For more ways to share science with youth in your life, please explore the Michigan State University Extension Science and Engineering website. For more information about 4-H learning opportunities and other 4-H programs, contact your county MSU Extension office.

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to create a community excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 4-H STEM programming seeks to increase science literacy, introducing youth to the experiential learning process that helps them to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Youth who participate in 4-H STEM are better equipped with critical life skills necessary for future success. To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth in STEM literacy programs, read our 2015 Impact Report: “Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals."

Other articles in series

Did you find this article useful?