Methods of conflict resolution

The strategy of getting out of the conflict is the main line of the opponent’s behavior during the conflict resolution.

There are five main strategies (K. Tomas): rivalry, compromise, cooperation, care, adaptation.

Rivalry is to impose on the other side a solution that is advantageous to oneself. A rivalry is justified in cases of: explicit constructiveness of the proposed solution; profitability of the result for the whole group or organization, and not for an individual or a micro group; the importance of the result of the struggle for the one who supports this strategy; lack of time for an agreement with the opponent. Rivalry is advisable in extreme and basic situations, in case of time deficit and high probability of dangerous consequences.

The compromise consists in the desire of the opponents to complete the conflict by partial concessions. It is characterized by a rejection of some of the claims that were made earlier, the willingness to accept the claims of the other party as partially justified, a willingness to forgive. Compromise is effective in cases: the opponent understands that he and the opponent have equal opportunities; the existence of mutually exclusive interests; satisfaction by a temporary solution; threats to lose everything.

Adaptation or assignment is considered as a forced or voluntary refusal to fight and surrender of their positions. Adopt such an opponent’s strategy is forced by various motives: awareness of their wrongness, the need to maintain good relations with the opponent, a strong dependence on him; frivolousness of the problem. In addition, to such an exit from the conflict leads to significant damage caused during the struggle, the threat of even more serious negative consequences, the lack of chances for a different result, the pressure of a third party.

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Avoiding a solution to a problem or avoiding it is an attempt to get out of the conflict with minimal loss. It differs from a similar strategy of behavior during the conflict in that the opponent passes to it after unsuccessful attempts to realize their interests with the help of active strategies. Actually, we are not talking about a solution, but about the extinction of the conflict. Care can be a completely constructive reaction to a prolonged conflict. Avoidance, is used in the absence of forces and time to eliminate contradictions, the desire to gain time, the presence of difficulties in determining the line of their behavior, unwillingness to solve the problem in general.

Cooperation is considered the most effective strategy of behavior in the conflict. It involves the desire of opponents to constructively discuss the problem, considering the other side not as an adversary, but as an ally in the search for a solution. The most effective is in situations of strong interdependence of opponents; the inclination of both to ignore the differences in power; the importance of the solution for both parties; impartiality of participants.

The choice of exit strategy depends on various factors. Usually they indicate the personal characteristics of the opponent, the level of damage and self-harm caused to him, the availability of resources, the status of the opponent, the possible consequences, the severity of the problem being solved, the duration of the conflict.

The most likely is the use of a compromise, because steps to meet one’s side allow one to achieve asymmetric (one side yields more, another lesser) or symmetric (the parties make approximately equal mutual concessions) accord.

The study of the resolution of conflicts between the leader and the subordinate showed that a third of these conflicts end in a compromise, two thirds with a concession (mostly subordinate), and only 1-2% of the conflicts are completed through cooperation. In conflicts between the leader and the subordinate in 60% of situations, the chief of rights in the claims to the subordinate (through omission in work, dishonest execution of duties, negligence). Therefore, most leaders consistently use the strategy of rivalry in the conflict, seeking from the subordinate the desired behavior.

As early as 1942, American social psychologist M. Folett pointed to the need to resolve (settle) conflicts, rather than to suppress them. Among the ways she singled out the victory of one of the parties, compromise and integration. Integration was understood as a new solution, under which the conditions of both sides are fulfilled, and none of them will suffer serious losses. In the future, this method of resolving the conflict was called “cooperation.”

At the heart of the compromise lies the technology of concessions to convergence or bargaining. The compromise has the following disadvantages : disputes over the positions of the parties lead to a reduction in deals; a basis for tricks is created; possible deterioration of relations, because there may be threats, pressure, termination of contacts; in the presence of several parties, bargaining becomes more complicated, and so on.

Despite this, in real life a compromise is often used. To achieve it, an open talk technique can be recommended, which consists in: proposing to end the conflict; To admit their mistakes, already made in the conflict, they probably exist and it is almost worthless to recognize them for you; make concessions to the opponent, where possible, in the fact that the conflict is not the main thing. In any conflict, you can find a few trifles, in which it is not hard to concede. It is possible to concede in serious, but not fundamental things, to express wishes for concessions necessary from the side of the opponent, they, as a rule, concern the main interests in the conflict; calmly, without negative emotions, to discuss mutual concessions, if necessary and the opportunity to adjust them; if it was possible to agree, then somehow fix that the conflict is exhausted.

The style of cooperation is expedient to implement by the method of principal negotiations.

Separation of people from the problem: delineation of the relationship with the opponent and problems; Put yourself in the place of your opponent and do not indulge your fears; show the willingness to deal with the problem; be hard to problem and soft to people.

Attention to interests, not to positions: ask “why?” And “why not?”; fix the basic interests; seek common interests; explain the vitality and importance of your interests; Recognize the interests of the opponent part of the problem.

Offer mutually beneficial options: do not look for a single solution to the problem; Separate the search for options from their evaluation; expand the range of solutions to the problem; seek mutual benefit; find out what the other party prefers.

Use objective criteria: be open to the arguments of the other party; do not succumb to pressure, but only principles, for each part of the problem use objective criteria; use several criteria; use fair criteria.

The combination of strategies determines how to resolve the contradictions, which underlies the conflict.


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