By SHANNON SKAE, health and life coach at Revive with Shan
Conflict is inevitable. We experience conflict in most areas of our lives, be it our work, our romantic relationships, friendships, or with strangers. It is something that everyone must deal with.
Conflict occurs largely due to a misunderstanding, hurt feelings, when someone has made a mistake, or when there is miscommunication. Some unhealthy conflict includes: Criticizing; stonewalling or silent treatment; bringing up issues that were resolved in the past; emotional blackmail; gaslighting (making them doubt themselves); and blaming.
We can navigate most conflicts through conflict management, and hopefully resolve the conflict. There are different conflict management styles, they include: Accommodating, avoiding, compromising, competing, and collaborating.
Accommodating refers to when you let the other person have their own way and you allow them to “win.” This puts their needs before your own.
Avoiding refers to ignoring the conflict or the person until they cool down.
Compromising refers to trying to find a middle ground where both parties give up some things for both to be happy.
Competing is when you stand firm with your viewpoint and wait for the other person to cave in.
Collaboration is when everyone collaborates and listens to each other’s viewpoints, everyone’s point of view is considered, and a solution is negotiated.
We have all used these conflict styles in one situation or another. The best form of conflict management would be collaboration, even though this is time consuming.
It is important to become aware of your own conflict management styles, and unhealthy argument styles to have positive conflict resolution strategies.
Appreciative communication is the healthy way to resolve conflict. This refers to using collaboration and understanding that everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint and that their perspective is as valid as yours is.