Did you know that we are most likely to default to particular conflict resolution styles unless there is a CONSCIOUS attempt to change it. Do you want to find out what your default conflict management styles are? Read on!
Conflict is a part of life, whether we like or not (and many do NOT), so we have all come up with ways to deal with it – some of us did this more reactively, and for others is has been more intentional.
How do you deal with conflict? How does that work for you?
Let’s do a quick survey…
Your partner keeps doing something that is really starting to bother you (i.e.. being sarcastic, picking their teeth, spending money etc.) you:
a. Don’t say anything, hoping it will stop
b. Argue with them and absolutely not back down until they stop
c. Agree to put up with it in certain situations but not in others
d. Avoid your partner and the situations when they are most likely to do the thing that bothers you
e. Discuss how you and your partner can deal with this issue
There are 5 main conflict resolution styles, which are summed up below…
We all have a primary style (our go-to approach) and a secondary style (our back up approach) and we sometimes vary which comes first depending on the situation. For example my primary style is collaborating, but if others don’t want to collaborate, I will compete or compromise to get my needs met, depending on the situation.
It is also helpful to consider what your primary and secondary styles are in different settings, as they can be different at work vs at home vs with strangers.
If you answered a- one of your styles is ACCOMMODATION. This is often appropriate when their is high investment in the relationship and low investment in meeting our own needs. This is a lose- win situation (you “lose”). It can become a problem when the importance of meeting our needs is in actuality quite high, but we continue to rank them below maintaing the peace or the other person’s needs.
If you answered b – one of your styles is COMPETITION. This is often appropriate when the value of the relationship is low, and the importance of having our way is high. This is a win-lose situation (you “win”). This can become a problem when it is used in situations where the value of the relationship is actually high, but we bull-doze the other person anyway to get our needs met, potentially damaging the sense of safety or trust in the relationship.
If you answered c– one of your styles is to COMPROMISE. This can be appropriate when both the relationship and the goal are important. This can be experienced as a lose-lose situation or a win-win scenario, depending on your perspective, because no one is entirely satisfied, but everyone gets a bit of something they want. This can be a problem if either the relationship or the goal are actually very important, because defaulting to compromise in these cases often leads to resentment.
If you answered d- one of your styles is AVOIDANCE. This is often appropriate when their is low investment in the relationship and low investment in meeting our own needs. This is a lose- lose situation because it damages both our relationship and we do not meet our needs.
If you answered e – one of your styles is COLLABORATION. This is appropriate when both the relationship and meeting our own needs are highly important. This is a win- win situation. This is great when you are able to use it, it does take two to negotiate though, so sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we may need to default to a different approach if the other person won’t “play ball”.
In short- this is how it goes…
So what are your Conflict Resolution styles? Does it change at home vs work? Are they in line with your values and where you are going in this stage of your life?
As always, we would love to hear from you! Please leave us a question, comment or tweet! See you next week and Happy Canada Day!