Conflict Resolution Skills: How to get the best of each of the five modes Written by Justin M. Deonarine, I/O Psychologist Read time: 2 minutes Conflict resolution is a critical skill in the workplace, where differences in perspectives, goals, and approaches are bound to arise. Effectively managing conflicts is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Understanding the five conflict modes and the associated skills can significantly enhance our ability to address workplace conflicts constructively. In the table below, we will dive into the skills that are associated with effective use of each conflict mode. By being aware of and honing these skills, it will become easier to prevent, manage and resolve conflict efficiently. Conflict Mode Skills To Harness Avoiding Knowing which issues can be avoided Willingness to allow issues to remain unresolved Ability to recognize when a discussion should be postponed, and willingness to re-engage Ability to recognize when it is someone else’s issue Willingness to be direct Comfort with not being involved and allowing others to resolve issues Willingness to explain your reasons so that you will not appear unresponsive Competing Ability to debate issues Comfort influencing others Willingness to state opinions or views Ability to stand firm Ability to be tough-minded and resolute Ability to decide which issues are vital Ability to explain your motives Accommodating Being comfortable with not “winning” all the time Listening Awareness of others’ needs Being respectful Comfort with taking a backseat Willingness to explain your position Compromising Ability to identify and suggest acceptable, middle-ground solutions Negotiating skills to keep the dialogue open Willingness to make concessions Use of inclusive language (e.g., we/us) Pragmatism, and avoiding extreme positions Willingness to explain what’s important to you Collaborating Ability to objectively analyze information Willingness to share ideas Ability to listen to and empathize with others Ability to identify underlying concerns and root causes Ability to understand issues from different perspectives and generate multiple possibilities Ability to understand and build on others’ views Willingness to explain your ideas and viewpoint Workplace conflict presents opportunities for growth and innovation when approached correctly. By utilizing the insights above, you can find ideal solutions to disagreements and harness the benefits that come with effective conflict management, such as improved relationships. Ready to transform conflict resolution in your organization? Discover the power of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®) and equip your team with the skills to navigate conflicts effectively. Implement the TKI assessment to foster open communication, drive collaboration, and create a positive work environment. Contact us today to revolutionize your approach to conflict resolution and take the first step towards a more high-performing organization.