Conflict Resolution: 8 questions before jumping in Written by Justin M. Deonarine, I/O Psychologist Read time: 2 minutes Navigating conflict within a team can be a challenging task. When resolving disputes, how do you know which approach to choose? Our conflict responses are thought to be automatic. We have a response that we tend to favour, and we try that approach first. If this style doesn’t work, then we will review the situation and choose another approach. However, this isn’t always an effective way of resolving conflict. Instead, consider how you can take a more measured approach. Before responding to the conflict, answer the following questions: Task Considerations Context Considerations Relationship Considerations How complex is the issue? Simple (unidimensional) or complex (multi-dimensional)? How important is the topic to me? How important is the topic to the other side? Does the environment allow us to share our needs and concerns? How much time do we have to resolve this conflict? Do we trust each other enough to be open about our needs and concerns? Do we communicate effectively with each other? How important is our relationship? Depending on your answers to these questions, there may be an ideal conflict mode to adopt. Here are some scenarios where you can use each of the approaches: Conflict Mode Effective Scenarios to Harness This Approach Avoiding The issue is complex There is time to resolve the conflict The issue is important to both parties There is a lot of tension between both parties Competing The issue is important to you The issue may not be important to the other party The relationship isn’t critical There is limited time to resolve the conflict Accommodating The issue isn’t important to you The issue is important to the other party The relationship is important to you There is limited time to resolve the conflict Compromising There is limited time to resolve the conflict The environment allows you to share your needs and concerns The issue is somewhat important to you You communicate effectively with the other party Collaborating There is time to resolve the conflict The environment allows you to share your needs and concerns You communicate effectively with the other party You trust each other Resolving conflict requires thoughtful consideration and the application of appropriate conflict modes. Asking yourself questions related to the situation can help you determine the best approach to the challenge in front of you. Embracing a tailored approach for each situation enables you to navigate conflict more effectively, foster collaboration, and build stronger relationships. Ready to take your team’s conflict resolution skills to the next level? Equip your organization with insights into your team’s dynamics, communication patterns, and conflict management styles to navigate conflict with confidence. Contact us today to explore how our assessments and expertise can help you.