Conflict Management Styles Paper
Write a 1,050- to 1,100 word paper that identifies the conflict management style (not techniques) – avoiding, accommodating, competing, collaborating and compromising – used by your agency or place of work (management and/or co-workers). How does this match or contradict your personal conflict management preference or style?
Conflict Management Styles
In the today’s business scenario conflicts are bound to happen. Both parties have important goals to achieve and whenever one’s goals and objectives come in the way of the other conflict happens. Friction and cannot be altogether avoided in work life and neither can we expect an absolutely conflict free environment. In such situation s it is wise to resolve conflicts peacefully. Agencies employ varying styles as per the situation for resolution of these conflicts. Everyday we come across situations at our work place where conflicts happen and have to be resolved. The styles that are used mainly for managing conflicts are avoiding, accommodating, collaborating, compromising and competing. These styles prove effective depending upon the situation and the issue.
Apart from our work lives we also use these styles for conflict resolution in our personal lives. At my work place I come across situations where I can see these styles being practiced to derive the desired output.
Management or people use the style of avoiding when the issue is trivial and moreover chances of winning may be low. In such situations one generally avoids the issue. If it is already known that the issue may prove damaging and costly, this style can be effective. This style is especially effective if the environment is emotionally charged and any further disturbance or tension will aggravate it to make it too complex. In such cases we need to create some space and the n it is better to avoid the issue. But avoiding cannot be believed to be a good long term strategy either and on repeating may bring negative and unexpected results. But still in many cases withdrawing from a conflict can be good for resolving the conflict amicably. One may remain neutral and ignore disagreements. One major drawback of this style is that conflict may appear at the surface to have been resolved but at a deeper level, it accumulates giving rise to bitter and bigger tensions.
The style of accommodating also proves quite helpful in resolving conflicts. Under certain situations one may have to keep his own interests aside to preserve a relationship.
Generally, in such situations the style of accommodating is used where one shows a very high degree of cooperation and goes beyond working against one’s own goals and objectives. It happens in cases where one party believes that the other party has got a better solution and also for preserving long term relationships. Here one sacrifices his personal interests for the interest of the other party. This style also generally proves effective in a short term and is used to maintain harmony and to avoid any kind of disruption. In this style of conflict resolution the emphasis mainly remains on the emotional side of the issue. Accommodation is possible in certain situations only and neither it is possible for all.
The style of compromising refers to being both cooperative and assertive but moderately. This style emphasizes on taking a mid way between assertiveness and cooperation. This style is commonly used at the work pace and in the society for amicable resolution of conflicts. In a compromising scenario neither party wins. This approach can be said to be appropriate for a scenario where a temporary solution is required. It is a give and take situation where both the parties give concessions, but none’s goal are completely or exactly met or a lose-lose scenario for each one. Compromising generally happens if collaboration is not possible. But still it is counted among the most effective styles of conflict management and proves very effective in settling issues.
Collaboration is also a very efficient technique or style of conflict management. This is a solution oriented style aimed at finding a way through individual differences. It is effective when the situation is complex and one has to confront the issue with no space to avoid it. It is considered to be the most practical approach to deal with complex issues where some novel solution is required. It proves to be a win win situation for both parties where space is created through understanding for the ideas from both the parties. However, it also requires a very high degree of trust to bring in collaboration and quite much effort also. One may have to spend lot of valuable time to synthesize all the ideas and to build a consensus. The collaborative approach is very effective at stimulating new and creative ideas and also for achieving high productivity.
Competitive style refers to assertive and uncooperative approach driven by one’s emphasis on his personal gains even at the expense of that of others. When one chooses the competitive style, he keeps his personal interests first and that of others’ later. This style uses authoritative command, dominance and coercion. Organizations use authoritative command for reducing conflicts. But an overemphasis or over-reliance may prove damaging since if used by a manager it may result in reduction of employee motivation. This style is effective when the second party is untrustworthy or when a quick resolution is essential. It can also be taken if one is quite sure of an effective and correct solution. So, despite its shortcomings this style is remarkable for its effectiveness in work environment.
All the five styles of conflict management are not only helpful at the work place but also in one’s personal life and an understanding of these styles helps one understand his own and also to better his approach. In my personal life I have experienced that the collaboration style is very effective at managing conflicts. I also find it highly effective at my work place in the day to day scenario where one comes across vary situations where the stress level gets to be high. In such situations collaboration is like a win win proposition. Collaborating not only helps at preserving relationships but also at forging new ones both at one’s work place and in the society. Collaboration has always proved to be a very reliable style for an amicable settlement of disputes or for resolving conflicts.
Using this style especially one is able to avoid the stress caused de to conflicts and moreover is able to achieve an effective solution to the basic underlying problem. Its effectiveness and importance are visible both in the personal and professional lives.
Route, Leela Eirene. Omiko, Nelson (2007). New Delhi:PHI Learning Private Ltd.