Conflict Management Styles

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Whether your roommate is your best friend from high school or a stranger the school matched you up with could determine the importance of your relational and self-presentation goals. At this point, your goal analysis may lead you away from negotiation—remember, as we discussed earlier, avoiding can be an appropriate and effective conflict management strategy. If you decide to proceed with the negotiation, you will want to determine your ideal outcome and your bottom line, or the point at which you decide to break off the negotiation. In that case, you can still prepare, but make sure you allot time for the other person to digest and respond. During this stage you also want to figure out your goals for the interaction by reviewing your instrumental, relational, and self-presentation goals. If you decide to proceed with the negotiation, you will want to determine your ideal outcome and your bottom line, or the point at which you decide to break off negotiation.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

To reap these benefits, you have to get over any fear you have of conflict. Instead of trying to increase your likability, focus on respect, both giving it and earning it. Most people are willing to hear a different perspective if you share it respectfully.

Conflict Resolution In Peace And Conflict Studies

Which forms of conflict management will be used in any given situation can be somewhat predicted and explained by the social structure—or social geometry—of the case. When one of the conflict’s parts firmly pursues his or her own concerns despite the resistance of the other. This may involve pushing one viewpoint at the expense of another How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts or maintaining firm resistance to the counterpart’s actions; it is also commonly known as “competing”. Forcing may be appropriate when all other, less forceful methods, do not work or are ineffective; when someone needs to stand up for his/her own rights (or the represented group/organization’s rights), resist aggression and pressure.

  • There are other academic approaches to conflict that you could use to proactively address conflict.
  • Misunderstandings are common and can be minor, but can also escalate when stakes are high.
  • Disagree agreeably — The “Triple A” formula for disagreeing agreeably, coined by psychologist Susan Heitler, Ph.D., involves agreeing, augmenting and adding to the other person’s point.
  • Other options include asking for permission to discuss a topic or beginning with the facts from your perspective or your observations.
  • You are trying to find your equilibrium point where you are about to accept both the advantages and disadvantages, no matter the final decision.

A simple way to reduce ego-based interpersonal conflict in nursing is to avoid situations that may worsen personality clashes with coworkers, superiors, or patients as much as possible. Instead, choose a private, or neutral, setting to engage individual in dialogue as early as possible to de-escalate any perceived tensions. Not all conflicts are created equal, and that’s important to know. Developing a reliable way to determine the basis of any issue in which you’re not seeing eye-to-eye with someone else is the first step to creating a roadmap to conflict resolution. And by taking this step, you’re increasing your ability to leverage empathy and pay attention to behavioral clues that can help you identify the best approach to resolve the situation at hand. Rejection can lead to conflict when one person’s comments or behaviors are perceived as ignoring or invalidating the other person. When we care about someone, we verbally or nonverbally communicate.

Indicate You Are Listening

A competitive style is an attempt to gain power and pressure a change. You should address difficult issues after you have had time to organize your thoughts. Take the time to understand and be clear about what your real concerns. Ask yourself, “What is the underlying reason or the ‘why’ behind what I want? ” Refer to Focus on Interests , Not Positions for more information. Not all cases of conflict in nursing will come to a thorough and speedy resolution―indeed, some may not be resolved at all by the time you’ve completed your assignment.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

Allow people time to think through their responses or decisions. Finally, for each approach, there are tips for working more effectively with another person who uses that approach. For each of the five approaches mentioned earlier, consider how that style can be an appropriate response to conflict.

Whats Your Conflict Management Style?

It takes effort to ignore someone or be passive aggressive, and the anger or guilt we may feel after blowing up at someone are valid negative feelings. In fact, numerous research studies have shown that quantity of conflict in a relationship is not as important as how the conflict is handled (Markman et al., 1993). Additionally, when conflict is well managed, it has the potential to lead to more rewarding and satisfactory relationships (Canary & Messman, 2000). Each of the conflict resolution strategies above involves different degrees of assertiveness and cooperativeness. For example, while accommodating includes a high degree of cooperativeness and a low degree of assertiveness, competing consists of a low degree of cooperativeness and a high degree of assertiveness. The strategy of “compromising” involves finding an acceptable resolution that will partly, but not entirely, satisfy the concerns of all parties involved. A consensus on the definition of the problem is necessary for participants to be able to compare and discuss solutions.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

By the way, I don’t use the term win-win when discussing collabora- tion. It is a popular phrase, but it can mislead people into expecting to win—getting back into that mode of “winning” at all costs. Sometimes the manager is reluctant to step in and make a tough decision, preferring to rely on a collaborative approach for fear of mak- ing a mistake. But making a decision too slowly in the search for con- sensus can be a bigger mistake. When the office puts together a proposal for a project, many people expend a lot of effort. How can we deliver in a way that stands out against the others? The energy and the thought processes that go into this direction raise the standard for everyone.

Conflict Management

When you find yourself in conflict over very important issues, you should normally try to collaborate with the other party. But, if time is precious and if you have enough power to impose your will, forcing is more appropriate. Realize that you might need to repair the relationship after using a forcing strategy if the other party feels that you did not show adequate consideration for their concerns. Again, collaborating is normally the best strategy for handling conflicts over important issues. Any individual can have one of four combinations of these letters.

While in the past China tended to leave Middle East mediation diplomacy to the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, it is now trying to become more involved and to play the peace broker in regional affairs. However, whether these Chinese mediation initiatives achieved practical results remains questionable. Effective conflict resolution serves all parties and preserves harmony. In cross-cultural situations, many scholars advocate the use of face negotiation techniques, as outlined below. As an effective business communicator, you know all too well to consider the context and climate of the communication interaction when approaching the delicate subject of evaluations or criticism.

And if it doesn’t, you can learn from the situation and try again. To be fair, agreeing is usually easier than confronting someone, at least in the short run. And it feels good when someone nods at something we say, or admits, “I see it the exact same way.” That’s what I wanted Marguerite to do. And rather than accepting that she saw things differently from me, I labeled her “difficult.” This was a mistake — and not just because I ended up embarrassing myself. By thinking that way, I lost out on a potentially productive working relationship. Imagine how much better the project could’ve gone had I openly and respectfully disagreed with Marguerite.

  • That’s when you must decide how you want to approach the conflict.
  • I have worked with a few managers who seem to have perfected the ability to get from their own offices to the elevator without making contact with anyone else in the office—so, they never have any problems.
  • They are trying to find their equilibrium point where they are about to accept both the advantages and disadvantages, no matter the final decision.
  • “Conflict situations” are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible.
  • In these situations, it becomes even more important to choose your words wisely, and the best way to ensure that your words are chosen wisely is to choose them ahead of time.

As frustration builds, co-workers can end up taking a competitive approach to conflict resolution, and the problem escalates. When dealing with moderately important issues, compromising can often lead to quick solutions. However, compromise does not completely satisfy either party, and compromise does not foster innovation the way that taking the time to collaborate can. So, collaborating is a better approach to dealing with very important issues. Next, read this post on conflict resolution tips to put your conflict management skills to the test. To be successful with this conflict management style, you should use it only for large-scale decisions with high impact that require the input and agreement of all parties since it’s too time-consuming for smaller decisions.


To be successful with this conflict management style, understand that avoiding a conflict isn’t going to keep harmony and improve your relationship with that person. Only use this style when you simply need more time to plan or need to focus on other larger tasks and conflicts first. At the beginning of a relationship, you might feel that if you have a fight, your relationship will end. You might decide to remain silent to avoid possible disagreements. You might be afraid that you will hurt your partner, or that conflict will lead to more problems. There can be a fear of not being liked by your partner, so you hide your true feelings.

When we face differences and disagreements, we have choices about how we will respond to the situation. We probably do not spend much time thinking about these choices; we may not even consider that we are making a choice.

Remain professional and unbiased in all of your interactions to earn and maintain the respect of your team. Group meetings ensure there are no doubts about special treatment behind closed doors. Give your team some autonomy in this process by allowing them to give input on the ground rules. The list doesn’t need to be long, but it needs to cover what co-workers expect from each other when there’s a problem. Set this up ahead of time, before anyone loses their cool due to a conflict.

  • The occasional accommodation can be useful in maintaining a relationship—remember earlier we discussed putting another’s needs before your own as a way to achieve relational goals.
  • Teresa wants to use direct mail to bring attention to their company’s offerings, and Heitor wants to move forward with an expensive television ad campaign.
  • This reinforces China’s determination to content itself with the extremely limited role of honest broker, whose mediation efforts in the Middle East disputes are mostly aimed at conflict management.
  • Self-construal and individualistic or collectivistic cultural orientations affect how people engage in facework and the conflict management styles they employ.
  • This step seems obvious but is frequently not done or only superficially evaluated.

Nondirective counseling, or “listening with understanding”, is little more than being a good listener—something every manager should be. Make good eye contact and keep your facial and body expressions in check. Do not listen only to hear what you expect the other person to say or to confirm your viewpoint. Refer to Listening Effectively for tips on how to listen well. It’s likely that you’ll end up tweaking your proposed solution based on feedback from the person on the other side. In the Middle East, the U.S, and other players are perceived to have manifold agendas and interests across the area.

Accommodating The Other Person

In this stage, you will likely learn how the other person is punctuating the conflict. Although you may have been mulling over the mess for a few days, your roommate may just now be aware of the conflict. She may also inform you that she usually cleans on Sundays but didn’t get to last week because she unexpectedly had to visit her parents. The information that you gather here may clarify the situation enough to end the conflict and cease negotiation.

There are both advantages and disadvantages involved in this single goal. You start thinking about the disadvantages and avoid making the decision. You go back and forth until you meet your equilibrium point and make a final decision. When offered a dessert, she will probably experience a __________ conflict. It is not uncommon for you or the other person to have multiple interests. Problem solving based on interests leads to more creative and successful resolutions.

Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. Disagreements – when managed well – have lots of positive outcomes, such as better work products, opportunities to learn and grow, better relationships, and a more inclusive work environment.

Have Any Tki Questions?

You might also try to emulate someone who is comfortable with conflict. If you’re not yet good at dealing with tense conversations, try on the persona of someone who is. Be direct in a low-stakes conversation and see what happens, for example. Cumulative annoyance is a building of frustration or anger that occurs over time, eventually resulting in a conflict interaction. For example, your friend shows up late to drive you to class three times in a row.

The customer is not only causing a distraction to your business but is creating an atmosphere that makes other customers feel threatened. No matter how much money this customer spends at your business, it will always be worth confronting them because it shows other customers that you value their business just as much. While the customer may still be sad and hungry, they’ll often be sympathetic to the employees who are about to clock out. Rather than making employees work longer and deliver another pizza, the company compromises with the customer by offering a free pizza at another time.

To be successful with this conflict management style, only use it as a temporary fix when time is of the essence on difficult decisions. If not everyone is pleased with the solution, the issue should be reopened later so that it can be further discussed. To be successful with this conflict management style, assess each situation separately. If the issue is way more important to others than yourself, it makes sense to put their concerns first. You don’t wanna ruin an important relationship over a petty conflict. The best resolutions to conflicts are the ones where both parties benefit without having to give up anything else in return. These situations are ideal for building customer loyalty but can be difficult to create and recognize.