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The Use of Personal Narratives Or Stories in Conflict Resolution

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Conflict resolution stories encompass the emotion and personality of negotiation. Underneath their surface-level representations of proceedings, they disclose the underlying conventions of the disagreeing parties, their anticipations of individually and the other party, and the parts they give for themselves. Knowing the means in which conflict negotiation stories function is critical for peacekeepers who, desiring to go outside the simple settlement of posturing conflicts, examine for openings for real resolution in the lives of the conflicting parties. In Resolving Individual and Structural Conflict, a thoughtful understanding of storytelling offers intermediaries with a valuable viewpoint on the means in which quarreling parties demonize their rivals in stories, protect their own characters and egos, and eventually reveal their true selves when they take accountability for their engagements.

Personal narratives or stories are very important to conflict coaching as a technique of conflict negotiation. Conflict coaching can be defined as the conversations that are held between a coach and a client for the aim of developing the clients understanding of the conflict they are involved with. The importance of this conversation in conflict resolution is that it helps the conflicting parties to learn how to behave and conduct themselves when the conflict negation is going on (Winslade & Pangborn, 2015). The conflict coaching goes further than just teaching the client how to conduct themselves to advise and strategies that might be crucial in reaching an agreement in the conflict negotiation. Conflict coaching in conflict negotiation has proved to be an effective way that negotiators can use to bring peace or reach an agreement when solving a dispute between two conflicting parties.

Stories or personal narratives have also proven to be a key part in conflict resolutions when using the ombudsman’s dispute resolution system. Since a successful dispute negotiation system comprises expressing respect for the other party emotions and feelings especially anger and grief, giving personal narratives helps in understanding the other parties stand in the negotiation (Hauss, 2004). The negotiator helps the parties involved in the dispute by encouraging and allowing them to deal with their feeling through personal narration or stories. Through personal narratives, the conflicting parties are able to make a responsible decision and this helps to deal with the conflict they are involved in effectively. Respecting each other narration in this dispute resolution system give a productive relationship between the two parties and makes it easy for the negotiator to help them reach an agreement hence solving the dispute.

In the peace-building alternative dispute resolution discussed in this week, personal narrations also play a very important role in conflict resolution. When both parties are given the chance to narrate their personal stand and view about the conflict, it provides a clear insight into the conflict to the negotiators. The conflicting parties are also permitted to connect on deeper levels of their beliefs and values when allowed to participate in the dialogue (Wing, 2009). Since the peace-building extents and touches to the principles and practices of both parties in the social context, listening to each parties personal narratives helps in understanding their claim and reach a resolution in the easiest way possible.

Stories in conflict resolution bring some a kind liberation, acknowledgment, and social justice to the parties involved. Narrative or stories approach to a conflict negotiation considers interpersonal issues over substantive subjects and this, in turn, reduces the negotiation part of the conflict (Hauss, 2004). This is because stories engage both parties in negotiation from a position of greater disposition. Written settlements are an accepted addition of the new story and it becomes a portion and a way of strengthening the conflicting parties’ assurance to the new agreement. Since overriding stories can be anticipated to reaffirm themselves after a convention with a negotiator is completed, such consolidation may frequently be vital to the endurance of a new standpoint and Intermediaries can also regularly follow-up a settlement.

Some of the positive or advantages of using personal narratives in conflict resolution are that it provides an effective and quick resolution to conflicting parties. The method also increases the self-esteem of the conflicting parties and draws respect for both conflicting parties. However, this technique of conflict resolution also has some negative or disadvantages attached to it. The use of narratives in conflict resolution can affect the relationship between the parties in the long wrong and it may prompt the other party to behave in a negative way even if the intention was different (Winslade & Pangborn, 2015). During the personal narration stage of conflict negotiation, a fresh conflict that is not intended can escalate very quickly and easily if the parties are dissatisfied.

In conclusion, the use of personal narratives or stories in conflict resolution helps to give a clear view of both the parties involved in the conflict. The parties are given a chance to give an account of the conflict and with that, they release the anger they personally have and also express their feelings concerning the conflict. Personal narratives in solving a conflict is a way by the negotiator to reach beyond the interest of both parties and develop a common ground where both parties can agree and settle their conflict. Stories are very useful since they enable the parties to expresses their real feeling, demand, and wishes in the negotiation.


  • Winslade, J. & Pangborn, A. (April 2015) Narrative Conflict Coaching. Narrative and Conflict: Explorations of Theory and Practice. Vol. 2, Issue 1.
  • Hauss, C. (2004). Summary of “Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution, By Bernard Mayer.” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Beyond Intractability.
  • Wing, L. (2009). Mediation and Inequality Reconsidered: Bringing the Discussion to the Table. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 69 (pp. 383-404)

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