What is your business conflict style? What style do you default to when you’re trying to resolve conflict?
Each of us have a default conflict style as to how we approach those difficult conversations, or how we deal with a conflict that might arise with a supplier, or a client, or a staff member, or even a business partner.
If we understand what our default style is, and understand the other styles, we are more likely to apply a different style from our default styles, when appropriate.
We can often have better results in resolving disputes earlier, preventing them from even escalating to a dispute, because we’ve had a hard conversation as early as possible.
Being able to express better and negotiate for what you want, as well as keeping everyone else happy.
The five conflict styles, or the five main ways where people approach conflict are:
- collaborative, or
So those are the five and you more than likely default to one of those.
You might have a different default style in your business or work, versus your home life.
Thinking about business or work, which style do you tend to default to?
If that’s not really working for you, you can then work out what is the best style for me to use in this sort of situation?
Quite often, it comes down to how important the outcome is to you. So how much you want to push for what you actually want versus how important the relationship is to you.
If it’s a business partner, making sure that you maintain that relationship is probably pretty high on the needs list. But what you want may also be equally high. In which case, you need a compromising or collaborative approach for that dispute.
If it’s a relationship that you don’t want to maintain or it’s on its way out, so you and your business partner are actually splitting, then a competitive style is more appropriate because the relationship no longer is important, but what you want out of the negotiation is more important.
Or if you were to go with a situation which might be with a staff member, although there are some things that you need from that staff member, keeping that staff member happy and making sure that their needs are met is sometimes more important than what you want. And you might be able to get what you want out of them in a different way. So you might be more accommodating in the style when you negotiate.
Here is my quiz to determine your default conflict style; 15 questions will give you your default style.