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Your Conflict Style: Pro's and Con's

Posted On - 27/03/2015 09:49:09

Everyone deals with conflict differently most of us simply use what comes naturallyEveryone deals with conflict differently. This variation is for a whole host of reasons – a mix of personality, upbringing and experience.

The upshot is most of us simply use what comes naturally. And unless you've made a conscious effort to understand your style likely it's something you've never thought much about before.

That is, until you did the detailed assessment we suggested last week. If you have, well done - this is a huge step forward. But if you have you're probably also waiting for what we promised – help with understanding what it all means. Well, that's what this blog is all about.

What's the right answer?

There isn't a ‘right' style - no one style is best all the timeThis isn't a cop-out but there isn't one. No one style is best all the time.

The five styles outlined in ‘Conflict's Consequences' all have a place. Each is right in certain circumstances.

If you're trying to sort a problem it's often a good thing to collaborate.

If you want to be perceived friendly, open and easy going it can pay to be accommodating.

To compromise when reaching agreements.

To avoid things that don't matter or are best ‘let lie'.

Or push hard (compete) when things just need doing (JFDI!).

But therein is a clue. If there is a right answer its understanding an over-reliance on one or a few conflict styles is an issue - it's imbalanced. And that means your social skills may be causing you problems.

Interpreting your scores

A Bablefish can interpret many things - even your conflict handling style?The self-assessment we suggested included the means to score yourself and graph the results. Keeping things simple scoring in the top or bottom 25% is evidence you're relying of on a particular style or styles.

Now, high/low scores aren't necessarily good or bad – it's situational. But you're in a service role – whether you retail or provide services B2C, B2B or both – so you're providing a paid for ‘service' to customers, not commanding a ship, researching new drugs, running a building site or whatever. And that means an emphasis on certain styles will be more appropriate.

We'll explore the strengths and weaknesses of the different styles in the rest of this blog. So you can see how the different styles relate to what you found in your self-assessment. And in preparation for next week's blog we'll start the discussion about which of these styles is more suited to dealing with customers or not.

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