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Personal Conflict Style

Updated on February 24, 2015

Personal Conflict Style

Conflicts are a normal occurrence among human beings. It is not unusual for pastors to get into conflict with the lay people or amongst themselves. Even missionaries also get into conflict with one another. In most cases, human relations practitioners especially in business entities find themselves in conflict situations that may be interpersonal in nature. This paper is a report from an assessment of conflict management styles in team management.

Upon assessing my conflict situation at Washington State University’s School of Leadership website, I identified my conflict management style as being that of collaboration. This is because in managing conflicts, I prefer to integrate all the ideas presented by the involved parties in finding the solution to the particular issue. I have to take into consideration each other’s concerns and address them accordingly. By addressing each other’s concerns, there is no doubt that the solution reached will be agreed upon by all those concerned.

Katzenbach, and Smith (1992) expresses that the collaborative strategy in conflict management involves high cooperation and assertiveness. The authors describe collaboration as placing an idea on top of another as a means of achieving the best solution. Katzenbach, and Smith goes on to point out that the best solution is one which is creative enough in solving a conflict that would not have been possible with one individual. Since in most cases this strategy generates the best outcome, it is mostly argued by some people that it is the best conflict management approach that can be used in many situations.

My Least Preferred Style

One of my least preferred strategies in conflict management is that of avoiding. This is the direct opposite of collaboration, which involves low cooperation and high assertiveness (Algert, 1996). Although this mode of management may be used by people who may not have confidence to engage in conflicts or because they do not have the necessary skills, it may not always be possible to avoid situations or issues that are critical in nature. Further, avoiding conflicts implies that matters are left unresolved.

  1. Application of Collaboration Strategy in Conflict Management

Collaboration as a form of conflict resolution is best applied in business organizations where owners are expected to work together with the managers in creating policies for business operations. Further, the managers should also work collaboratively with the other employees concerning all business operations and decisions. However, some conflicts are short term and may need immediate response to solve the issues; hence, collaboration may not work in this context.

  1. Application of Avoidance

Avoidance has a form of conflict management strategy is best applied among people who have low position in a particular organization and therefore may not influence some matters and those with low self-esteem. For instance, avoidance may be applied when a popular, but unproductive employee has been dismissed. The replacement of this employee with another who is more productive serves better in resolving the conflict.

4. Steps to Increase the Use of My Lesser Preferred Style

First, I will have to appreciate that there is no conflict management style which is “a one size fits all” or which can solve all forms of conflicts (LCWSU). I will therefore, begin by embracing all approaches and understanding where and how best they could be applied. Second, I will have to evaluate my position in a given context, that is if indeed I harbor a relative power in solving the issue. If not, I will have to apply avoidance in this situation.

In the event that there is no time in employing collaboration, I would need to find an alternative strategy that could be helpful in the particular context.

The particular elements to consider while evaluating the strategies include the issue significance, which is the extent by which principles, priorities and values are placed in a given conflict. The importance of relationships is also a factor to consider and this relates to the importance of maintaining a mutual and close relationship with the other member(s). The last factor is the relative power I hold in the specific context.


There are various strategies that can be used in conflict resolutions. However, each person has his or her preferred strategy, which he employs more often than the other does. In resolving a conflict more effectively, it is critical to employ a strategy that is more appropriate for a particular context. This implies that the strategy to be deployed may not be the one that is usually utilized or preferred by an individual.


Algert, N.E. (1996). Conflict in the workplace in Proceedings: Women in Engineering,

Advocates Network, Denver, CO., 123–127

Katzenbach, J.R ., and Smith, D.K. (1992). Wisdom of teams, Harvard Business School Press.

The Leadership Center At Washington State University. (n.d.). Conflict-Management Style,


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