Before going into some kind of negotiation or dispute settlement, whether you’re doing it yourself or whether you’ve got a lawyer representing you, it would be really interesting for you to learn what your natural conflict style is.
So there’s been a couple of little tools put out there where you can do a quiz or a questionnaire to find out your natural conflict style.
Quite often it’s put on an X-Y axis where the X axis is how assertive you are, and the Y axis is how much you value a relationship.
We want to be sort of in the middle of that scenario, or as far out to being assertive and valuing the other person as possible, because we want both. We want to retain the relationship if possible, or some kind of working relationship, but we also want to assert what our rights are.
So, if, for example, if you’re not assertive and you don’t care about the relationship, then you’re going to have an avoidant conflict style, and you’re pretty much going to go, “Well, I don’t really care.” You’ll walk away; you’re not going to fight for your own rights, and you’re not going to care about the other person either.
If you care deeply about the relationship, but you don’t value your own needs very much, you’re going to have a more accommodating style. So you’re going to pretty much let them get what they want just for the sake of keeping the relationship.
So the avoidant and accommodating styles are typically the conflict styles, that women take, primarily because we are conditioned to keep other people happy when we’re raised as children.
However, it doesn’t mean we can’t learn to be otherwise, or to consciously develop some skills to bring us into a more collaborative style. A compromising or collaborative conflict style means that we equally value and assert what we want, but also value the other person.
So, conflict styles are really interesting, and knowing yours can help you learn the skills to get more of what you want.
I do a lot more training on this in my course about learning how to negotiate to get what you want, which is in my Legally Wise Women community.