Approaches to Conflict

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Date Submitted: 06/03/2011 02:12 AM

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* It's important to know your habitual response to conflict so that you can be alert to the possibility of taking a different approach.

* Just because you have a preferred style of approaching conflict does not mean that you must be a slave to that one approach.

* According to negotiation experts Lewicki, Saunders and Minton, there are five major approaches to conflict resolution.

* The approaches are distinguished by their levels of cooperativeness and assertiveness.

* Competitive Style

* The competitive style involves assertively maintaining that you are right and attempting to "win" the negotiation in any way possible.

* The other side's needs are disregarded, and winning is the goal.

* The competitive style may result in a conflict being resolved in your favor, but it is not recommended for the long-term because you will have made no headway in working productively with your adversary, and may have built up ill-will that can hamper future relations.

* Accommodating Style

* The accommodating style is low on assertiveness and high on cooperation.

* This approach can be taken to a situation in which you do not have a great deal invested in getting your way. Basically, it's not worth it to you to do anything but let the other side have its way.

* Avoiding Style

* This approach is low on both assertiveness and cooperativeness.

* It means walking away from a conflict situation, perhaps because the issues are not sufficiently important to you and you don't feel a need to deal with the other party.

* If the situation doesn't go away, it means that the avoidance style only bought you time, but did nothing to resolve differences.

* Collaborating Style

* The collaborating style is high on assertiveness and cooperativeness. It is useful when parties have significant differences, but it is important to maintain working relations. It is also...