Approaching Conflicts

There are 5 different styles to deal with the conflict.

  1. Competing
  2. Accommodating
  3. Avoiding
  4. Collaborating
  5. Compromising

Each style is appropriate in particular contexts and learning how to be strategic when approaching conflict is ideal.

First, assess your situation: What is the most important to you? Team? Organization? Is it the goal or is it the relationship involved?

  • When the relationship matters the most, use the collaborating or accommodating strategy;
  • If the goal is vital to maintain, above all else, use competing or collaborating strategies;
  • When the result and relationship are both relatively important to you, a compromising style will probably be most effective;
  • If neither the goal nor relationship matter, avoiding conflict may be the best bet.


The accommodating style is unassertive and cooperative. Typically a person using this conflict mode neglects his or her needs to satisfy the concerns of the other person.


Catch phrase: «It’s ok with me, whatever you want.»

“+” : Can preserve harmonious relationships, can admit there is a better way

“-“ : Can lead to resentment by not getting your needs met, can diminish your influence.


The Competing style is a power-oriented mode with the goal to win. In this mode the individual aims to pursue one’s agenda at another’s expense.


Catch phrase: «My way or the highway.»

“+”: Decisive, assertive, addresses personal needs

“-“: Can damage relationships, shut others down


The avoiding style’s goal is to delay. In this mode there is indifference to the outcome to the issue and the relationship and the person withdraws or postpones dealing with the conflict.


Catch phrase: «I will think about it tomorrow.»

“+”: Delays may be useful

“-“: Avoidance builds up and then blows, important issues don´t get dealt with, it can take more energy to avoid then deal at times


The collaborating style’s goal is to find a win-win situation. Typically this mode is concerned with finding creative solutions to issues that satisfy both individual’s concerns. It takes time and effort.


Catch phrase: «Two heads are better than one.»

“+”: Finds the best solution for everyone, which leads to high commitment, higher creativity in problem solving, team-building

“-“: Takes time and energy; if applied to all conflicts it can be draining and unnecessary.


The compromising style’s is goal to find a quick middle ground. Parties find an expedient, mutually acceptable solution by having each person give up something and split the difference.


Catch phrase: «Let’s make a deal.»

“+”: Fixes things quickly, satisfies needs of both parties, finds temporary settlements to complex issues, has backup up strategy when competition or collaboration fails.

“-“:  Can play games, bypass longer-term solutions, compromises found may be dissatisfying and may need to be revisited.


Compete Соревноваться Damage relationship Разрушить отношения
Accommodate Приспосабливаться Shut people down Оттолкнуть людей
Avoid Избегать Indifference to  the outcome Равнодушие к результату
Compromise Идти на компромисс Withdraw Ретироваться
Collaborate Сотрудничать Postpone dealing with conflict Не спешить ввязываться
Approach conflict Подходить к конфликту Find creative solutions Найти творческое решение
Appropriate Соответствующий Take time and effort Требовать времени и усилий
Particular context Определенный контекст High commitment Высокая приверженность
Assess a situation Оценивать ситуацию Can be draining Может быть энергозатратным
Involve relationship Вовлекать отношения Expedient Целесообразный
Matter Иметь значение Mutually acceptable solution Взаимоприемлемое решение
Maintain  a goal Придерживаться цели Make a deal Договориться
The best bet Лучшая ставка/решение Temporary settlement Временное решение
Neither …nor Ни … ни Have back-up strategy Иметь запасную стратегию
Unassertive Ненавязчивый Resentment Негодование/обида
Cooperative Сотрудничающий Diminish one’s needs Преуменьшать свои потребности
Neglect one’s needs Пренебрегать своими интересами To pursue one’s agenda Следовать своему плану
Satisfy concerns Удовлетворять  интересы At smb’s expense За чей-то счет