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How To: Deal With Conflict

Conflict is something we all have to deal with, but also something that no one likes to deal with. For the most part, none of us have control over when conflict occurs or how extreme the conflict may be. What we do have control over, is how we react.

If you tend to get anxious when dealing with conflict, focusing on conflict management styles could potentially be beneficial the next time conflict comes around.

Before you begin to attempt to tackle conflict, you should evaluate your intentions. Are you trying to “win”? Are you trying to rush through it? Are you trying to come to a compromise? Conflict shouldn’t be about someone winning and losing, it’s about finding common ground and understanding each other’s viewpoints from there. Going into every conversation involving conflict, it’s always important to listen in order to understand rather than to listen in order to respond.

Management Styles

  • Passive: This is known to be the “I lose, you win” approach where whoever is acting passively doesn’t share their opinions and their needs end up getting overlooked. When you tend to “give in” to the other person, over time, this can create feelings of anger, resentment, anxiety, and dissatisfaction with the relationship.
  • Aggressive: This is known to be the “I win, you lose” approach where whoever is acting aggressively seems to only be able to see things from the viewpoint of their own wants, needs, and opinions. When you tend to “over-control” situations of conflict, you can expect to be bitter, frustrated, and alienated.
  • Assertive: This is known to be a more collaborative approach where both parties involved are honest about their wants, needs, and opinions while respecting the other’s view. Over time, this leads to more open and honest communication throughout the relationship that, in turn, strengths your bond.

Written by GUADS staff member Toni with contributions from www.forbes.com 

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