Conflict Management Styles


Have you ever thought about how you deal with conflict? We each tend to have our own styles. Jill Barr and Lesley Dowding talk about five styles in their book, 'Leadership in Health Care.' 1. Avoidance: A person withdraws from the situation. They ignore complaints and do not discuss it. 2. Competing: A person uses power to dominate and ignores the needs of others. This is usually a “win-lose” situation. 3. Accommodating: A person surrenders to a stronger party. They are usually quick to give in to avoid conflict. 4. Compromising: A person negotiates and there is an attempt to meet on middle ground. This is a “win-win.” 5. Collaborating: People try to find a solution that is acceptable and of benefit to everyone.There is open, effective communication and problem-solving. This often has the best long term results.

There may be times when different styles are used at different times at work.


Take some time to honestly review what your style tends to be. Do you think there is room for improvement? If you are an Avoider or Accommodator, it may be worthwhile to seek a mentor or take a course on becoming more comfortable with being assertive. Do you tend to use a Competing style? Again, it may be time to try one of the other styles of Compromising or Collaborating, depending on the situation. Leadership involves ongoing learning and growth to bless others and the organization!

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