Conflict resolution involves working with and through differences in perspective. Skills in conflict resolution include:
- Being an active listener – you will have to pay attention to what is being said without preoccupation with what you want to say.
- Reflective listening – summarize what you think has been said and ask for clarification.
- Questioning – asking for clarification when unsure about something being discussed.
- Assertive communication – using “I” statements and be confident in what you are presenting to others.
When working with others, it is important to separate the people from the problems. This helps to make sure that there isn’t any blame being put on one individual. Also, find common interests and work towards finding paths that everyone involved can work on. Keep in mind the ultimate goal or end solution that you had when planning your vision for being an advocate for your child. This will remind everyone of what they are working towards, and makes sure everyone stays focused on the end goal.
Want more information on advocacy? Visit the following links:
- Learning the Skills of Self-Advocacy and Disclosure, available from the Autism Today website:
- Navigating the System: An Advocacy Handbook for Parents of Children with Intellectual Disabilities, available from the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living:
- Parents Guide to Inclusive Education, available from the Community Living Manitoba website:
- A Pocket Guide to Advocacy, available from the Alberta Association for Community Living: