Everybody reacts differently to conflict. Being familiar with different approaches to conflict is a key step to dealing with conflict before it gets out of hand. When you have a conflict with someone, try to remember that they probably have a different response to conflict than you do, and as a result, you will need to understand it and acknowledge it before moving forward.
Here is a summary of different styles for conflict
- Competitive. People who lean towards a competitive style take a firm stand and know what they want. They usually operate from a position of power, drawn from things like position, rank, expertise, or persuasive ability.
- Collaborative. People leaning towards a collaborative style try to meet the needs of all people involved. These people can be highly assertive, but unlike the competitor, they cooperate effectively and acknowledge that everyone is important.
- Compromising. People who prefer a compromising style try to find a solution that will at least partially satisfy everyone. Everyone is expected to give up something, and the compromiser also expects to relinquish something.
- Accommodating. This style indicates a willingness to meet the needs of others at the expense of your own needs. The accommodator often knows when to give in to others, but can be persuaded to surrender a position even when it is not warranted. This person is not assertive, but is highly cooperative.
- Avoiding. People leaning towards this style seek to avoid the conflict entirely. This style includes delegating controversial decisions, accepting default decisions and not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Once you know your own natural response and understand the style of the other person with whom you are in conflict, you can adjust your response in such a way that leads to resolution more quickly and effectively.