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You also need to practise active listening to ensure that you fully understand the position of those involved in the conflict.
It has its place, but anyone using it needs to be aware that it will create a loser and, if that loser has no outlet for expressing their concerns, then it will lead to bad feeling.
This strategy is probably best only used where little or no further contact is necessary between the individuals or groups concerned. Collaboration This is the ideal outcome: a win/win situation.
However, it requires input of time from those involved to work through the difficulties, and find a way to solve the problem that is agreeable to all.
This may be hard work, especially if the positions have already become entrenched, but it is also likely to be the best possible starting point early in a conflict situation. Compromise or Negotiation This is likely to result in a better result than win/lose, but it’s not quite win/win. Both parties give up something in favour of an agreed mid-point solution.
For example: It can therefore make it easier to discuss problem areas without creating further conflict.
Our page on Giving and Receiving Feedback explains more about this approach, and contains some useful ideas to help you communicate in ways that are more likely to be heard.
As our page Transactional Analysis makes clear, a win-win situation is always going to be better for everyone.
It should therefore be clear that some strategies will be significantly more successful in the longer term. Compete or Fight This is the classic win/lose situation, where the strength and power of one person wins the conflict.
However, it cannot be used if the conflict won’t just die down.
Under these circumstances, using this strategy will create a lose/lose situation: there will still be bad feeling, but no clearing the air through discussion. This can result in serious stress for those involved. Smoothing Over the Problem On the surface, harmony is maintained but, underneath, there is still conflict.