In many instances in our lives, we come across conflicts with those around us. This usually results in sore relations in which we suffer emotionally, mentally or even physically. In an event of a conflict, each one of us has a personalized way of responding to the conflict. The way of responding to this situation may be referred to as personal conflict style. This style can be defined as personal response to conflict solution usually resulting in conflict resolution. So as to fully understand the styles, we shall consider the dual-concern model which has five conflict styles.
This model employs two aspects. One of these aspects is assertiveness and the other is cooperativeness. In assertiveness, one tries to respond to the conflict while maintaining a very close eye on personal goals making the conflict situation an advantage to exploit. In cooperativeness, a person tries to approach the conflict while maintaining the social warmth and touch. This means that a person considers the other people and their goals.
Under this model of personal conflict styles, there are four main conflict styles mostly employed. Each of these styles is described below.
Accommodating. This occurs when a person tries to bear with the other even if the situation is not favorable. This response is facilitated by the need to maintain a good relationship with a person even if one is not benefiting in any way. From a simpler perspective, this response is characterized by low self interest and high interest in achievement of the other person’s goal. This one of the most commonly applied styles in schools between the teachers and the learners. However, this approach can cause imbalance in power since a lot of accommodation may lead to exploitation by the other party causing the relationship to be sore. The strength of this style is the conservation of the relationship and quick healing. This helps in creating harmony among the people.
Dominating. In this style, one usually has high self interest and accomplishment of one’s goals regardless of the other party’s goals. It involves total overlooking of the other party’s interest and goals and concentration in personal goals accomplishment. In this style, one party exploits the situation without considering other. The style stands out to be the opposite of accommodating and is the most confrontational style in dual-concern model. The main advantage of this style is short processing though this comes at a great price of using dictatorship in resolving the conflict. It also makes the already bad relationship even worse.
Compromising. In this style, the conflicting parties sit on a round table and talk out the causes of their conflict and how to resolve the conflict. All parties make a decision considering each others’ goals and interest. This is the best conflict style in my opinion. The main advantage of this style is the dual advantages accrued. One advantage is equal treatment by the style where both parties are winners and the other is preservation of good relationship and consideration of self interest as well. However, this comes at a cost of acceptance to sit even if the parties are not in good terms and discuss the conflict.
Avoiding. This involves one party keeping off from the other. In this style, one party holds very high self regard and low interest in pursuing personal goals often resulting in lack of a platform to discuss the cause of the conflict. The style involves low self interest and low other party’s regard. The main advantage of this style is respect of self regard while the major disadvantage is making the sore relationship even worse.
Integrating. This style is like compromise but involves more than just conflict resolution. It does not call for self sacrifice as it is the case in compromise. The style involves strong relationship uphold and strong self goals pursuit. The main advantage of this style is preservation of both self interests and good relationships.
In conclusion, one cannot independently rely on one style since most of the conflict we encounter requires a lot more than one approach style. This makes us to involve a combination of making style making it necessary for a person to understand all the conflict styles.