Consider these guidelines from SmallGroups.com:
- "Remember that conflict is good. It's what leads to being closer. Shallow relationships never have conflict; growing relationships do.
- You don't have to agree, only reach an understanding you can live with.
- Your relationship is more important than this single issue. Determine that you're going to stay committed to each other while you work through this issue.
- Keep talking to each other. Relationships dissolve when we isolate. Compromise and commitment come when we stay at it.
- Talk to each other, not everybody else. We want to validate our feelings by finding people who'll back our position, but this leads to gossip. Talk out conflict with the people involved, not people who aren't.
- Keep to the facts. Very often conflicts escalate to places that end up being all about hurt feelings and egos, not the actual issues. Recognize your feelings, even voicing them, but remember that the other person has been emotionally affected as well. Keep a cool head, or take a break until you are able to have one.
- It's okay to fight, but fight fair. Stay away from low blows or cheap shots. Respect the other person and speak in a way that expresses your concern without placing blame. It really goes a long way toward reaching a resolution."
If you're having lots of conflict, in your group, grow in your understanding of yourself and each other with a Conflict Assessment Tool. For example, the US Insitute of Peace has one that can be found here.