When working in a collective, conflicts are difficult to avoid. People are different and think differently, so conflicts can appear because of the differences between the perspectives people have. It’s normal that it occurs in working environments and should not be regarded as necessarily a bad thing. When a conflict occurs, it may also mean that there is a place for improvements and changes. So it is important how one handles the situation to make a conflict turn into an experience to learn from. Here are some conflict management techniques to help ease the conflict and improve the situation:
The Competing Method
Known both as competing or forcing, it means to hold firmly onto your own opinions and concerns, regardless of the level of resistance you receive from your opponent. It is a technique used when you meet hostility and aggression because it can come with a quick solving of a conflict, especially when other methods failed. But this method may be energy consuming, so if you choose it you should be prepared for a long battle.
The Collaborating Technique
As the name suggests it, this involves a more diplomatic approach to the problem. You should try to work with the opponent and try to find a middle ground solution for solving the issue so that you are both content in the end. This method is more beneficial because it gives both parties the opportunity to collaborate together, creating a solution that is much better compared to the previous method. It increases both the satisfaction of solving the conflict and of being able to create a better solution.
You already know that by accepting a compromise, both parties agree to a solution that only partially satisfies both of them. It is one of the fastest ways to solve a conflict, and may be best when there is little time to resolve the conflict. It may also be adopted as a temporary solution, while still searching for a way to satisfy both parties, because it can lower stress levels, allowing you and your opponent to concentrate better on finding a middle ground.
The Withdrawing Technique
When using this method, it means that you will let go of any of your concerns and opinions, avoiding the conflict by all means. It may be a solution when you are facing aggression, as it will give you time to focus on more important aspects or will allow the creation of a better mind-set to express your point of view.
The Accommodation Method
Also known as smoothing, it means to put another’s concerns in front of your concerns. It may help to find what are the best interests, leaving aside the ones that are not that important. Also, it gives you the opportunity to look at the issue using different perspectives. Although, be cautious, as there is the risk of being abused or for the opponent to take advantage of you. There is a certain balance and skill from your side, to avoid these things from happening.