7 Important Steps to Effective Decision-Making During Relationship Conflicts

In this world, no two individuals are exactly the same; everyone has a unique personality, thoughts, emotions, and upbringing. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise that their perspectives may differ during a conflict. A dispute turning into a conflict isn’t astonishing because other’s perspectives and mindsets can vary significantly, even among your near and dear ones.

Conflicts in relationships are common, but mastering the skill of resolving them peacefully is something you can’t achieve all by yourself with your limited one-sided perspective and thinking. Conflict resolution involves understanding others’ viewpoints and mindsets and approaching the problem having empathy toward them. Additionally, it’s crucial to broaden your narrow perspective with deep multidimensional thinking capabilities and make a fair decision that serves the best interests of both parties and leads to a long-term peaceful resolution of the conflict. Today, we will understand the concepts of decision-making and explore how it plays a crucial role in resolving conflicts harmoniously.


What is decision-making?

Decision-making is a self-explanatory term that simply means the act of making a choice. Whether a decision made is viewed as right or wrong, depends on the perspectives from which it is seen by others. Not every decision can be universally correct, nor can a decision that’s correct for one necessarily be ethical for all. It’s the perspective through which it is viewed that makes a decision right or wrong.

A Correct decision can be a judgment made after careful thought and consideration of all relevant details and that can be morally justified. It is supported by strong arguments and assumptions that are acceptable to the majority while causing little discomfort to those who are not in favor.

There is no specific definition of a Wrong decision; a decision is considered wrong when it doesn’t align with the perspective of what is considered right, even if it is morally correct for most others. Morality doesn’t necessarily equate to what’s right or wrong; it’s about your core values that have shaped your perspective and mindset since childhood. For instance, helping someone in need may be morally correct, while stealing is morally incorrect. So, you gauge everything as right or wrong based on your perspective, even if it’s a decision.

Some decisions may not fit neatly into morally correct or incorrect categories, but they are made to effectively manage existing circumstances. A classic example can be making a politically sensitive decision, where a clear right or wrong may not exist.

Types of Decision-making during a Conflict?

Decisions can be classified into several categories, and here are a few that we’ve briefly explained below. Let’s take a closer look at them.

  • Unilateral Decisions: Unilateral decision-making are those that someone makes independently without consulting with anyone else. Such decisions rely on their individual perspectives and what they believe to be correct. However, this isn’t always the ideal decision-making approach because the decision made unilaterally might be accurate from a limited perspective but may not be morally correct for a majority, and it may result in a situation where the root cause of the issue remains unaddressed.
  • Group decision: Group decisions are not made unilaterally, rather they are a consensus decision reached after consulting with others who directly or indirectly have a role to play in resolving the conflict. In such decisions, addressing the root cause of the concern is often given due importance, and the decision is made with the consideration that it is in the best interest of the majority. Group decision-making can be quite helpful in resolving conflicts harmoniously.
  • Consulted decisions: Consulted decisions are those that you make after seeking advice or counsel from someone, usually an expert in a particular field, or someone who is neutral and trusted by both parties. The impact of consulted decision-making is often more significant because they appear to come from a trusted source and it ensures that no one gains an unfair advantage.
  • Third-Party Decisions: Third-party decisions are made by an individual or group of individuals who are not directly or indirectly related to the conflict. They are consulted and provided with all relevant details of the situation for a thorough assessment, leading to an unbiased decision that does not intentionally favor any one party. They use the evidence and perspectives shared with them to arrive at a decision based on their understanding and expertise. Typically, the third party is an expert in the field, and they often possess authority and influence over the parties involved in the conflict.
  • Biased decisions: Biased decision-making are also referred to as one-sided decisions, and they typically favor only one party. These decisions are made with the sole intention of satisfying the expectations of one side, even if it means being unfair to the opposing party. Resolving a conflict with biased decisions makes long-term resolution very challenging, and there is a high likelihood that the argument may resurface in the future with even greater opposing intensity.
  • Unbiased decisions: Unbiased decisions, on the contrary, are decisions made independently, without being influenced by any particular party. These decisions do not intentionally favor any one party, and they are typically supported by strong facts and assumptions that make them easy to justify. Often, the outcomes of such decisions may favor one party, or they may be impartial and not favor anyone specifically.
  • Situational decisions: Situational decision-making is made in favor of a specific situation. These decisions favor the best alternative for resolving a conflict in a particular situation. Situational decisions can be biased, unbiased, or made by a group, and they may or may not favor any party involved in the conflict. Sometimes, circumstances can force you to make certain choices, and these decisions reflect the unique context of that situation.
  • Conditional decisions: Conditional decisions are made based on specific conditions. When a conflict resolution is difficult, and none of the parties are willing to agree to a common solution, decisions can be made by agreeing to certain conditions that aim to peacefully resolve the conflict. Conditional decisions typically support a collaborative or compromising conflict style, and in such cases, achieving long-term resolution is feasible. However, conditional decision-making can sometimes be unfavorable for maintaining relationship equilibrium.
  • Practical decisions: Practical decisions are influenced by a combination of your mind, body, and the circumstances that influence your actions. These decisions are made after a careful assessment of all relevant scenarios and circumstances. They take into account not only logical assumptions and facts but also consider personal perspectives from multidimensional thinking. Practical decisions are often influenced by a holistic perspective based on a combination of rational analysis and real-world considerations.
  • Impractical decisions: Impractical decisions are those that are not well-thought or analyzed using proper facts and perspectives from others. Impractical decisions can have adverse consequences and can be quite detrimental. A classic example is quitting a good job without careful consideration. Impractical decision-making can make a situation worse rather than calming it down and trying to regain control later may prove to be quite challenging.

Why is it important to make decisions to resolve a conflict?

Decision-making is important at the time of resolving conflicts because:

  • Conclude the Argument: It helps in reaching a conclusion to the argument and regaining control over the situation. An argument that has been ongoing for a significant amount of time may find a potential solution.
  • Calms down the Situation: A correct decision can help calm down the situation and prevent it from further escalating. This can lead to a reduction in heated exchanges between the two parties.
  • Built Trust and Rapport: Making wise decisions helps build trust and rapport with others. They will admire you for your wise choices, which can earn you respect and recognition as a leader.
  • Exercise Authority and Power: By using your decision-making ability wisely, you can confidently exercise your power and authority. You can also help bring justice by supporting the right cause while working to correct the injustice done to people.
  • Helps resolve conflict: Good decisions can indeed help resolve conflict situations and bring harmony and peace between two individuals. It is a crucial principle in achieving synched harmony, and without it, resolving conflicts can be very challenging.
  • Improves Communication and Collaboration: Good decision-making capability can help improve the communication between the two parties where both collaborate and brainstorm ideas for effective resolution of the conflict. Decisions are made based on the inputs received from both the parties.
  • Reduces Stress: Making sound decisions can also help in reducing stress as sometimes long-standing issues are concluded through it. This frees up time and mental energy that was previously devoted to analyzing such situations, allowing you to redirect your focus elsewhere or take a much-needed break.
  • Compromise between parties: Good decisions can facilitate compromise between conflicting parties by alleviating their pain points and finding a mutually acceptable solution. Understanding the perspectives and mindsets of others and making a decision that benefits both can only be achieved through effective decision-making skills.

What are the most important steps in decision-making?

There are a few things that should be kept in mind before you make any critical decisions in a relationship:

  1. Understanding Perspectives: Sometimes understanding other people’s perspectives becomes important so that you don’t make crucial decisions based solely on one-sided limited perspective, which can limit your thinking capacity to only what you’ve perceived. Looking at things from someone else’s perspective can help us discover other aspects that our minds wouldn’t have considered. That’s why, it’s essential to understand not only your own perspective but also the viewpoints of others involved in that situation.
  2. Decoding Mindsets: Understanding someone’s mindset allows us to get an idea of how they might react to a particular situation. Often, when a conflict arises, people tend to start blaming each other, pointing out the mistakes made by the other person, but no one will make an effort to understand why the other person reacted so strongly when there wasn’t even a significant issue, to begin with. That’s why, it’s important to decode the mindset of the people involved in the conflict so that you can gauge the situation well and make proper decisions.
  3. Thinking Multidimensionally: Multi-dimensional thinking means considering and understanding a situation from various perspectives. It involves looking at a situation from different angles and grasping aspects that your limited perspective might not be able to comprehend otherwise. It means understanding the context more comprehensively and also comprehending the relationship between different perspectives involved. It involves deep thinking from different angles with the intent of making things clear and identifying the root cause of the problem.
  4. Seeing beyond the frame: Thinking beyond perspectives is about observing things that may not be immediately apparent or visible, and thinking beyond the limitations imposed by your own set perspective. It involves thinking beyond your current perspective and considering alternative possibilities, implications, consequences, and viewpoints. The primary intention to do so is to prevent you from making impulsive decisions without careful consideration, which could negatively impact the present and may worsen the future.
  5. Being Collaborative: Collaboration is a teamwork approach where you work with others as a member of the same team, ensuring that the interpersonal dynamics remain positive and their concerns are addressed. You may not completely agree with their points, but because they are willing to agree to your terms, you, in turn, agree to theirs, fostering a mutual agreement.
  6. Compromise: Compromises are made when you are willing to adjust and adapt yourself to the circumstances and work accordingly for the betterment of the situation. It is as easy to say as it sounds, but actually putting it into practice can be quite difficult as sometimes you may have to adjust to things that completely go against your values.
  7. Value Relationships: If you want to compromise, you have to adapt it even if you don’t want to and this can only happen when you value relationships, respect others, and want to maintain them going forward. If you value relations it will automatically motivate you to think positively and make decisions for the betterment of others. You will think more about the concerns of others rather than yourself.


What are the effects of bad decision-making?

  • Unhealthy Relationship: Bad decision-making harms the relationship equilibrium. This can significantly hinder relationships and may lead to unrecoverable damage.
  • Loss of Trust: With wrong decisions, you not only lose the trust you’ve earned but also erode the faith that people who respected you had in you. And once trust is broken, it’s very difficult to regain.
  • Disappointment: One wrong decision can take the form of disappointment, and its outcomes may lead to considerable disappointments for you or the individuals affected by that decision. These disappointments can gradually transform into frustration or guilt as well.
  • Unfair Outcomes: One wrong decision may result in an unfair advantage for someone, causing the opposing party to experience significant disappointment and distress. Such outcomes can even lead to a situation where the one who should have received justice ends up suffering the consequences themselves.
  • Escalation of Arguments: Wrong decisions can escalate the intensity of arguments, potentially reaching a high level of escalation. They can invoke anger and frustration in the opposing party, making it even more challenging to handle the situation.
  • Regrets and Guilt: Lastly, wrong decisions can lead to regret and guilt, which can result in depression. This adds to the stress, and sometimes, such stress can cause unrecoverable damage to your health and mental well-being.


To conclude, decision-making plays a vital role in peacefully resolving conflicts which is an important principle in achieving synched harmony. Decisions can be of several types, and not all decisions need to be morally correct or favor everyone. Whether a decision is right or wrong depends on the perspective through which it is viewed, and with careful consideration of important factors, sound decisions can be made to resolve conflicts peacefully. Lastly, we’ve also seen how a wrong decision-making can create rifts in relationships. Hope you found this article helpful and would spread the knowledge with your loved ones and others who are in need.

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