Responses to Conflict
WORKPLACE CONFLICT: Recognizing and Responding to Conflict offers the following Job Aid:
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|Competing||A forceful, aggressive, and uncooperative response.||When quick, decisive action is crucial, e.g. in a crisis.
On important issues where unpopular actions need implementing – e.g., cost cutting or disciplinary action.
On issues key to company welfare when you know you’re right.
|Collaborating||An approach that acknowledges the importance of all the points of view and aims to meet the needs of everyone involved. It is an assertive yet cooperative response.||To find a solution that integrates diverse and equally important views.
When your aim is to learn.
To get commitment through a consensus.
To encourage tolerance and understanding of others.
|Compromising||An approach where all parties are willing to give up something in order to come to a mutually satisfying agreement.||When parties with equal power are at a standstill.
To reach temporary solutions to complex issues.
When you are under time pressure to arrive at a solution.
When collaboration or competition is unsuccessful.
When the cost of conflict is higher than the cost of losing ground.
|Avoiding||A response where someone does not want to get involved in conflict or simply ignores it. It is unassertive and uncooperative.||The chances of winning are bleak.
When the issue is of little importance.
When emotions are high.
When the disruption of dealing with the conflict will cause more harm than good.
When you need more information.
When someone else would be in a better position to solve the problem.
|Accommodating||A response which is not assertive but very cooperative. One party is willing to sacrifice their wants and give in to the demands of the other party.||When the issue is of more importance to the other party.
When wanting to be courteous and do a favor.
When you realize you are at fault and want to rectify a situation.
To reduce losses when you are outmatched or losing.
About the author:
Ruth Stanley is currently the Vice Chair, ASQ Ottawa Section. You can reach her using our contact form.