The Five Styles of Conflict Resolution
Conflicts can arise at any time. How you utilize conflict resolution strategies depends on both your conflict style and your conflict resolution skills. There are many different ways to respond to conflict situations; some conflict styles involve a considerate or cooperative approach while others involve either a competitive or passive approach.
Those who have proper conflict resolution training understand how to diffuse the situation and reach an agreement that satisfies all parties. The first step in conflict resolution is understanding the various styles of conflict. The five styles of conflict include:
- Avoiding the Conflict
Avoiding or withdrawing from a conflict requires no courage or consideration for the other party. By avoiding the conflict, you essentially pretend that it never happened or doesn’t exist. Some examples of avoidance or withdrawal include pretending there is nothing wrong, stonewalling or completely shutting down.
- Giving In
Giving in or accommodating the other party requires a lot of cooperation and little courage. Basically, you agree to accommodate the other party by acknowledging and accepting his point of view or suggestion. This style might be viewed as letting the other party have his way. While this style can lead to making peace and moving forward, it can also lead to the accommodator feeling resentment toward the other party
- Standing your Ground
While standing your ground requires courage, it can also be inconsiderate. By standing your ground, you are essentially competing with the other party; you’ll do anything to ensure that you win the battle. The fact is, a competitive approach offers short term rewards, but in the long term effects can be detrimental to your business.
Compromising is a big step toward conflict resolution. Both courage and consideration are used when both parties look for common ground. You agree to negotiate larger points and let go of the smaller points; this style expedites the resolution process. Occasionally, the person compromising might use passive-aggressive tactics to mislead the other party, so beware.
Collaboration plays a major role within conflict resolution and requires great courage and much consideration. Collaborating with the other party involves listening to their side, discussing areas of agreement and goals, and ensuring that all parties understand each other. Collaboration requires thinking creatively to resolve the problem without concessions. Collaborators are usually admired and well-respected.
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