Maos Last Dancer

Conflict Management Strategies
        There is a menu of strategies we can choose from when in conflict situations:
  * Forcing - using formal authority or other power that you possess to satisfy your concerns without regard to the concerns of the party that you are in conflict with.
  * Accommodating - allowing the other party to satisfy their concerns while neglecting your own.
  * Avoiding - not paying attention to the conflict and not taking any action to resolve it.
  * Compromising - attempting to resolve a conflict by identifying a solution that is partially satisfactory to both parties, but completely satisfactory to neither.
  * Collaborating - cooperating with the other party to understand their concerns and expressing your own concerns in an effort to find a mutually and completely satisfactory solution (win-win).
        Research on conflict management styles has found that each of us tends to use one or two of the above five strategies more than the others.  For instance, some people predominantly use collaborating when in interpersonal conflict situations.  In other words, although there are five different ways to handle conflicts, such a person is more likely to collaborate than they are to force, accommodate, avoid, or compromise.  There are many advantages to using a collaborating strategy to handle interpersonal conflict situations.  Collaborating with the other party promotes creative problem solving, and it's a way of fostering mutual respect and rapport.  However, collaborating takes time, and many conflict situations are either very urgent or too trivial to justify the time it takes to collaborate.  There are many conflict situations that should be handled with one of the other four conflict management strategies rather than collaboration.  Managers who are very skilled at conflict management are able to (a) understand interpersonal conflict situations and (b) use the appropriate conflict management strategy for each situation.