5 Strategies for Dealing with Conflict

There is plenty of evidence that conflict is an issue in the vast majority of workplaces, either because it’s being avoided in order to maintain artificial harmony, or because it’s being dealt with poorly. Either way it can lead to lost productivity and lost revenue. This is the main reason why you need to know how to deal effectively with conflict in order to increase performance and improve profits.

Causes of conflict

Most conflict stems from differences of some kind. Differences in information, in values and beliefs, in roles and functions, differences in perception. Other causes can include lack of trust, fear of the consequences and competitiveness, especially over scarce resources.

5 Strategies

Whatever the cause, here are 5 strategies you can adopt to deal with conflict – from “The Magic of Conflict” by Thomas F Crum.

Avoiding – This can be effective when the issue is relatively unimportant and the risks of surfacing it outweigh the benefits of resolving it.

Accommodating – Useful when the issue is far more important to others than to you. However it isn’t appropriate when your input and/or commitment is required and you can’t give it.

Forcing – Good for when quick, decisive, action is called for or you need to implement an unpopular decision – but only if commitment isn’t needed.

Compromising – Although giving everyone some of what they want isnt likely to lead to a satisfactory outcome, compromising can work when the goals are mutually exclusive

Collaborating – When time isn’t an issue, working through difficult feelings and different perspectives can lead to a much better solution and stronger commitment to that solution

  • What is your default position when dealing with conflict?
  • If you have a current conflict going on in your life, which of the 5 strategies would be most effective?

8 Responses to 5 Strategies for Dealing with Conflict

  • I think “avoiding” will be pretty effective for me because most people can a bit provocative and naïve at times.thanks a lot for sharing this…….

  • My strategy will be to avoid conflict even if the. Person who provoking you,bluffing you,don’t even care

  • Great Post. Only one strategy where I need to improve on is “Avoiding”. Its not necessary to act immediately on things all the time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great advice! My default solution, if the situation and timing allows it, is to sleep on it. Usually the next day I’m not as emotional about the situation and can address it in a more professional manner. Sometimes after sleeping on it I realize the the solution is to avoid it.

  • Great post! The important thing is not to use the “Avoiding” technique too often! It may be easier in the short run, but when those resentments build up, it can kill a company or a relationship. Love how you qualified it though! Have an awesome day and keep up the great work!

  • The problem with avoiding conflict when the issue is relatively unimportant is that those involved may feel that they are being cast aside and that when a conflict arises that IS important they will receive the same treatment. I believe all conflict should be handled immediately and respectfully to all involved. If it is a conflict to begin with, then someone involved thinks it’s important.

  • Never thought of the other strategies. This is such a great help to improve one’s business and think of a better plan for it to grow. Thank you for sharing this. You are more powerful than you know. :)

  • Accomodating will be my strategy.

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