Resolving Conflict Strategically

Strategic Ways to Guarantee Conflict Resolutions Each and Every time

The majority of people are capable of resolving conflict …

… however, many conflicts are never resolved by the majority of people,

because …


People are different on many levels and when dealing with conflict we tackle them in a variety of ways. So, it makes sense that not one tool will have the same desired results, and therefore, it is so useful to implement a strategic tool that will resolve any conflict according to our unique personality style and behavioral competencies.

People choose how cooperative and how assertive they want to be in a conflict situation. If you are in a conflict with your boss, you would be wiser to practice more cooperative behaviour, and more assertiveness when dealing with a teenager. We can decide what behaviour best suits the scenario to manage a positive outcome for both parties.

Here are 5 strategies to guarantee successful results for any conflict:

 Strategy 1:     Avoiding

There are 2 reasons why people choose to avoid the conflict:

Firstly, certain people will avoid confrontation by clamming up and internalising the issues. This approach has many negative consequences; by not contributing to the conversation and perhaps withholding worthwhile ideas, emotions, feelings or explanations, it leaves a lose-lose outcome for all parties. When conflict is avoided, nothing is resolved.

Secondly, when they feel that the uneasiness of the confrontation exceeds the potential outcome of the resolution. For example, your son arrives home 15 minutes after his curfew ends. Getting into any confrontation with him would be counter-productive. In an assertive way, you would be better to show your displeasure and allow him to consider the consequences.

Strategy: select the right behaviour for the right situation and be consciously aware as to exactly ‘why’ you are Avoiding.

Strategy 2:     Competing

Competing is a behaviour used by people who plan their conflict to win at all costs. Being highly assertive (which could border on aggressiveness) employs the philosophy that they win, and all other parties lose. It prevents diverse perspectives into a well-informed holistic picture. Being too competitive is a poor strategy for group problem solving.

Strategy: reduce the high levels of assertiveness and look for practical ways to demonstrate cooperatives where applicable.

Strategy 3:     Accommodating

Accommodating is the opposite of Competing. Where a person is cooperative all the way and does not assertive themselves. Progress is rarely achieved when one party accommodates another merely to preserve the harmony or to avoid confrontation. Too much accommodating can result in unresolved issues and an upset party resulting in more assertive people hijacking the process and take control.

Strategy: keep allowing others to share their ideas and assert yourself when decisions need to be made or more leadership is required.

Strategy 4:     Collaborating

Collaborating is the balance of both assertiveness and cooperativeness where the other party is invited to share ideas and contribute to participating in the solution. This enhances people to feel empowered and part of the problem and relieve the tension.

Strategy: build rapport by reaching out and touching them allows for collaboration and the reduction of tensions and emotions that diminishes the conflict.

Strategy 5:     Compromising

Both parties share assertiveness and cooperativeness. Both sides are prepared to give away something of what they want, and no one gets exactly what they want. This is primarily splitting the difference. Compromise is perceived as being fair, even if no one is particularly happy with the final outcome.

Strategy: create the feeling of fairness and eliminate the conflict quickly, even if everyone is not entirely pleased with the outcome. At a later stage, one can always re-negotiate.


Find out HERE how you can resolve any conflict strategically and boost your Leadership skills and Interpersonal Behaviour more strategically.



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