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What is your conflict management style?

We all deal with conflict differently. Some people are afraid of confrontation and therefore avoid it entirely. Others charge right in and make a decision for everyone involved whether it's a healthy one or not. At the same time, there are others who are too accommodating in resolving it. Conflict can be hard for some people. There are both healthy and unhealthy ways of managing conflict. The following is a list of the various conflict management styles and a description of each:


Someone with this conflict management style might be forceful and argumentative. They might be highly goal oriented and place relationships low on their priority list. They won't hesitate to use aggression to resolve conflicts. They tend to be uncooperative, intimidating, and even threatening. Someone with this style might have a strong desire to win and strive for win-lose situations. There are some pros and cons to this management style. For instance, if this person's decision is the right one, then there will be no need for compromise or loss by others. However, this type of conflict management style might create hostility and resentment in others.


Someone with this conflict management style tends to ignore conflict versus resolving it. Because of their fear of confrontation they may be uncooperative and unassertive. They may be overly passive and give up what's important to them in order to find a resolution. This conflict management style may help to preserve relationships that would otherwise might be hurt by conflict. However, this style may also lead to unresolved conflicts, passivity, and being taken advantage of.


This style is similar to avoidant in that there may be some passivity and smoothing over conflicts in order to avoid it or solve them quickly. However, a person may give up their own wishes and desires and easily give in to others in order to get the problem resolved. Similar to the style above, those who are accommodating during conflict may be able to preserve relationships easily. At the same time, giving in too easily may be unproductive and someone with this style might also be taken advantage of. 


Those who are compromising when conflicts arise in relationships may be able to produce healthy results. However, this isn't the case each time. Those with this conflict management style are focused on goals and relationships. They are willing to give up their own goals while trying to get others to give up theirs. Yet, because the focus is on compromise, a conflict may result in a lose-lose or win-lose situation, depending upon the circumstances. With this style, relationships may be preserved, but compromising may lead to a less-than-desirable outcomes on occasion.


Those with this management style value goals and relationships. They see problems as those to be resolved in a way that is agreeable to all parties. They tend to find ways to have a win-win outcome. Those with this management style tend to find a way for all parties to get what they want while reducing any negative feelings. The advantage with this style is that there is little to no bitterness between people once a conflict is resolved. However, resolving conflicts in this way can require a great deal of time and effort.

It's important to keep in mind that different circumstances may in fact require a different style, regardless of whether it is a win-win, win-lose, or lose-lose. Getting to know your own conflict management style may teach you that you need to be less aggressive, more assertive, or more collaborative. Which conflict management style do you mostly identify with?   


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