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Episode 172 S5-9

Conflict Management


Special Guest:

Dark Days in Denver Ch 9

~Jim Cobb~

  The Dark Days in Denver adventure continues as the characters head out to blow off some steam at a local concert. During the night an altercations ensues. Here to discuss conflict management and how you can diffuse misunderstandings and encourage group cooperation is disaster preparedness authority Jim Cobb.   

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Group conflicts can be caused by many things and often those emotions are heightened once the consumption of alcohol is added into the mix. As a third party, diffusing a situation that involves alcohol can be difficult. You need to try talking to the individual to determine just how inebriated they are. When someone is intoxicated their pain threshold will be lessened. Their inhibitions will be reduced and their cognitive reasoning will be lowered. This is a recipe for disaster. 

When dealing with these people repeat yourself over and over. That way they can hear you and the message gets through to them. Try to distract them from the altercation and redirect their attention. The altercation may take care of itself. 

It also make a big difference how far into the altercation the individuals are. Redirecting someone will work better at a verbal stage. Treat the drunken individual as if they are a child. Try to lead them away with the offer of another drink. If they have already progressed to physical contact, you will need to physically redirect them. Talk to them the whole time and make them focus on you. Get in their ear. If they hear the other person, you could lose them. If you are physically larger and more powerful, it may be easier to physically redirect them. However if you are smaller, you will have to be creative: use joint locks or sweet talk. Your personal relationship with the individual will also make a big difference. The closer you are to them the more they will listen to you. 

Remember, there is no one size fits all solution for this situation. 

Be nice until it's time to not be nice. If you come across with a chip on your shoulder, the person you are approaching will put up defenses. However, if you act nice, they will calm down and not be so defensive. You don't want emotions. You want reason. 

The vast majority of communication is non-verbal. We use body language, tone of voice, eye contact (or lack there of), and inflection to communicate as well. On communication avenues like social media there are no cues to further your understanding. This often leads to misunderstandings and causes arguments.

When you learn a new language there are many aspects to understanding. You have to learn to read it, speak it and hear it. Plus, different cultures use different body language cues. Sometimes you lean certain aspects of the language quicker than others. Usually, the hardest aspect to learn is auditory. 

Conflict resolution is an essential part of survival. This doesn't necessarily mean disagreements between your group and another group. This refers to the members of your group and their ability to get along with one another. This will make or break your group and if you want to survive a long term survival situation, you need your group! You will have to live with these people on a daily basis.  Eventually you will need to choose a way of resolving conflicts that works for the group.

One option for conflict resolution is concession. This happens when you give in to the demands of others. Often when children nag us for an extended period of time, we find ourselves giving them what they want to stop the endless torment. If you give in often, you may find yourself developing the habit of handling all conflicts this way. There are times when you are wrong and you have to concede your argument. However, sometimes you are right and you should stand your ground.

Another method of solving conflicts is consensus. This means that the group votes and comes to an agreement that the majority of individuals think is the appropriate action. The downside of this method is that a part of your group will be on the losing side. Consensus works best when you have a neutral third part individual that can decide the course of action. Let each side give a brief explanation of what they think should happen. This way everyone feels that their point was heard and taken into consideration. Everyone likes to feel like they had a chance to give their input.

Alternately, a group may choose compromise to solve problems. This is the theory if you give a little, you get a little. The downside is you always have to give up something to get something. Depending on the give and take it may lean one way or the other. This can lead to feelings of resentment because you never get anything without giving first.

Collaboration is another form of conflict resolution that you can use. If both parties can agree to a solution this is best for everyone. However, often ego can get in the way because everyone wants to win. 

Resolve conflicts individually. Each situation will have to be handled using it's own unique resolution mechanism. Try to stay positive and find a way that works for everyone.


The larger your group is the larger your leadership team will need to be. If you have ten or less people, one leader is suitable. However, if you to have 50 or more people in your group, you will need to have managers for each task that report to a higher leader or group of leaders. The larger your community gets the more you will have to rely upon group leadership. Try to make sure each individual is delegated to the correct job and make sure they attend meetings with the leadership council. 

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Dark Days in Denver Ch 9

~Jim Cobb~

Jim Cobb is a nationally recognized authority on disaster readiness.  He has written several books and is a regular contributor to numerous magazines.  Jim is also Editor-in-Chief for Prepper Survival Guide magazine.  He has been featured on TV and was a featured instructor for the Make Ready to Survive DVD series produced by Panteao Productions. Jim lives with his family in the upper Midwest.

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