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What is a conflict management style?

Conflict can often arise in personal and professional settings whenever there is a clash of interests or differences of opinions and so on. More often than not, unresolved disputes or conflicts can lead to bigger problems in the work environment including reduced productivity, morale and more which is why many organisations opt to enrol their employees in conflict resolution training courses to help them learn conflict management.

If conflicts are not dealt with effectively or resolved, they can cause unidentified issues in the workplace as well as in the relationships between the concerned parties. That can disrupt the smooth running of daily operations and can even result in losses for the organisation whether that be staff, clients or other stakeholders. But, what exactly does it mean to have effective conflict resolution in the workplace?

Styles of Conflict Management

Normally, conflict management is a managerial responsibility i.e. supervisors or team managers are expected to have this skill. However, it’s important for all employees who deal with people to know how to resolve conflicts. Anyone can take a conflict resolution course online and learn to maintain peace in the workplace even as a team member.. 

Just like everyone has a different personality, there are different conflict management styles as well. Which style is more efficient in which situation, or which style is naturally present in your skills depends on your Emotional IQ. But, of course, these styles can be learned and developed with conflict resolution training. There are four primary conflict management styles: competing, accommodating, avoiding, and collaborating. While most individuals have one style dominating their conflict resolution tactics, they may also use a mix of different resolution methods to deal with the situation as the need arises. 

 

Competing

Competing is when someone pursues their own interests at the expense of others. This can be seen as being aggressive or assertive. An example of this style would be when you emphasise on why your interests are important and must be given priority in a negotiation. This kind of style should only be used when the interests of your business outweigh the need to maintain a friendly relationship between the parties. Undertaking a conflict resolution course online can help you judge which situations suit which style of conflict management.

Accommodating

Accommodating is when someone gives in to the demands of others. This can be seen as being passive or compliant. While this style minimises conflict and maintains the relationship between the two parties as a friendly one, it can sometimes cause losses of opportunities for the business by compromising on its interests to accommodate the other party’s interests.

Avoiding

Avoidance is when someone tries to avoid or ignore conflict altogether. This can be seen as being evasive or unassertive. While you may think that this reduces chances of the conflict getting worse or more serious, it is not always recommended because unresolved conflicts, as mentioned earlier, can build up to a bigger problem. However, there are certain situations where avoidance is necessary to minimise the immediate risk of worsening the situation.

Collaborating

Collaborating is when someone works with others to find a mutually acceptable solution. This can be seen as being cooperative or problem-solving. Normally, this style of conflict resolution is most commonly applied in professional environments to ensure the maintenance of the relationships as well as to minimise conflict of interests. Yet, negotiating to meet both parties’ interests is a tricky task, so a conflict resolution course online can help you learn this skill. 

So which style is best? Well, it depends on the situation. If you’re trying to resolve a personal issue, then you’ll probably want to use a different style than if you’re trying to resolve a work issue. And if the stakes are high, then you’ll probably want to use a different style than if they are low. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which style will work best in any given situation. But remember, no matter what style you use, the goal should always be to find a resolution that is acceptable to all parties involved. Find out what your natural conflict management style is in our upcoming conflict management course! 

Enrol in conflict resolution training today

Pathways Australia offers an excellent conflict resolution course online to help you achieve your goals. Even though conflict resolution skills are deemed to be highly professional, they are often useful in maintaining your personal relationships as well, both at work and otherwise. Learn everything from causes of workplace conflict to understanding your conflict management style and various emotional intelligence techniques to reduce conflict through Pathways Australia. Enrol today to get started on polishing your conflict resolution skills.

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