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How Do You Deal With Conflict?

Updated on July 23, 2014

Win-Lose or Compromise

The Win-Lose scenario is one that is best avoided. This is all about power. The person in the conflict with the most power is the one most likely to win and the other party will leave the conflict feeling beaten, resentful and with a loss of motivation and perhaps loyalty.

This can be a disastrous situation for a company and an easy way to lose staff.

The compromise is better but while both teams have one to a certain extent, both have also lost as well. Their finishing point is better than there starting point, but you face the risk that each party will then judge whether or not they gave up more than the other to reach a compromise and this could lead them to think that they have in fact been in a Win-Lose situation.


The five ways to deal with conflict

There are five approaches that people usually use to deal with conflict. These are Ignore, Give In, Win/Lose, Compromise and Co-Operative/Win-Win.

Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, but only one of them is the most beneficial for maintaining an ongoing healthy relationship.

Ignoring the Conflict is the first strategy that most people chose to employ and is often the easiest. The problem is that in most cases the problem doesn't go away and ignored party feels grieved by the process.

It can be beneficial however if you are waiting because you need more information or you are not in a position to deal with it, but if this is the case then you should let the other party know your reasons.

For some of us that are dealing with very difficult or potentially verbally abusive people, this may seem like the best option.

And if giving in is an easy outcome for you then it is going to work. If it isn't an easy outcome though you are going to have difficulties.

The other party is going to expect that you are going to give in all the time and this will lead to situations where you simply can't give in and may cause even worse conflict.

A harmonious end to a conflict
A harmonious end to a conflict

Co-Operative/Win-Win

This is by far the best outcome, but it does require more effort on the part of each party and comes with three additional steps that each party needs to be a part of.

The first is to Share the Problem. Each party needs to be aware of what the problem is and how they will be impacted by the solution.

The second step is to Uncover the Needs of the other party to make the solution work. This may require bring additional people into the process, as this part of the solution may be beyond the capabilities or resources of either initial party to solve.

Lastly, both parties need to Identify the Creative Solution that is going to work for all parties concerned and begin the process of implementing it.


Conflict Resolution

What is your preferred method for dealing with conflict?

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