What is your approach to resolving conflicts?
Conflict is an inevitable aspect of any job, yet it can lead to absenteeism, lost productivity, and mental health difficulties. Conflict, on the other hand, can be a motivation for new ideas and innovation, as well as enhanced flexibility and a better understanding of working relationships. Conflict must be skillfully managed in order for organizations to succeed.
Understanding that each of us has our unique manner of coping with conflict is a key skill for today’s working professionals. There are five basic styles of conflict management, according to the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), which is used by human resource (HR) experts all over the world: collaborating, competing, avoiding, accommodating, and compromising.
Each strategy has its own set of advantages; there is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” conflict management style, so understanding how you instinctively respond to conflicts, as well as increasing your awareness of other management styles, can help you better understand how you typically approach specific situations and lead to more efficient and effective conflict resolution.
There are five major conflict resolution styles. Knowing when and how to employ each style can assist manage conflict and create a better working environment, all of which contribute to a higher bottom line.
Combining assertiveness and cooperation, collaborators seek to work with others to find a solution that truly addresses everyone’s concerns. This method, which is the polar opposite of avoidance, allows both parties to get what they want while minimizing bad feelings. When it comes to integrating two departments into one, collaborating works best when the long-term relationship and outcome are important—for example, when you want the best of both departments in the newly formed department.
Competitors are outspoken and uncooperative, and they are eager to pursue their own objectives at the expense of others. When you don’t care about the relationship but the outcome is critical, such as when competing with another company for a new client, this technique works. Internal competition, on the other hand, does not foster relationships.
When diplomatically sidestepping an issue or just withdrawing from a frightening circumstance, those who avoid conflict tend to be unassertive and disagreeable. Use this when it’s better to put off dealing with a situation or you don’t care as much about the outcome, such as if you’re having a disagreement with a coworker over using WhatsApp at work.
When adapting to satisfy the other person, there is an element of self-sacrifice, which is the polar opposite of competing. While it may appear to be generous, it may be exploiting the vulnerable and causing animosity. When you don’t care about the outcome but want to keep or grow a connection, like going out to lunch with your boss and agreeing, “If you want to go for Japanese food for lunch, that’s fine with me.”
This approach seeks to create a quick, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties while preserving assertiveness and cooperation. When the conclusion is not critical and you are wasting time, this technique is best to adopt; for example, when you just want to make a decision and move on to more essential matters and are willing to give a little to get the decision made. Be mindful, though, that no one is truly content.
It’s critical not to be fearful when conflict develops since there are things you can do, such as improving your skills and qualifications by developing a repertoire of conflict-resolution responses.