Five Conflict Models. Which is Yours?

The in-party fighting this week in Parliament is a highly visible example of conflict in the workplace and a fractured team.

A team by description is a group of people with a set of complementary skills required to complete a task, working together with mutual commitment to achieve the agreed goal.

Team members, although operating with a high degree of interdependence share authority and responsibility for self-management and are accountable for the collective performance toward a common goal, so when you have competing ideologies within a team as in the case of Boris Johnson’s rebel MPs, it causes the team to flounder. As the old adage goes, ‘a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand’.

The more Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) we have, the more we are able to detect the subtle hidden agendas, vested interests and careerist politicos lining up to serve self-interest rather than what is best for the rest of ‘the team’ and of course, the country.

Knowing how to manage conflict before it spills over into something serious is vital.

The difficulty of handling conflict

If you have ever pushed a polystyrene float underwater in a swimming pool and suddenly released it you know it can have painful consequences; similarly, you can’t push conflict away without it eventually rearing up to slam you in the face.

Handling organisational conflict can be as unwieldy and risky as juggling water-filled balloons because there are people with agendas and pecking orders to consider as well as complex internal politics. In your business, how important are the personalities involved and their ability to employ Emotional Intelligence (E.I.)? If you are a senior manager, you need to have good Emotional Intelligence to find a conclusion that is mutually beneficial to everybody.

Tread water, sink or swim?

If you are not at the top of the organisational food chain, how do you approach conflict? Do you tread water or do you avoid it? You must also consider the size of your organisation and the speed your department works; in a big organisation like the NHS, or a corporate multinational, they have a turning circle like the Ark Royal, so don’t expect instant wins.

Understand your own style

At Carol Barwick Learning and Development (CBLD), we provide courses to help leadership and management handle conflict effectively and provide a bespoke plan for future conflict resolution.

Our first approach is to understand the choices you and your team make when influencing conflict. To do this we use the “Thomas Killman Conflict Resolution Style Questionnaire”, grouping conflict resolution behaviour into 5 Conflict Models.

  1. Competing – (Forcing)
  2. Collaborating – (Problem Solving)
  3. Compromising – (Sharing)
  4. Avoiding – (Withdrawal)
  5. Accommodating – (Smoothing)

Competing is best used:

– When quick decisive action is vital; e.g. emergencies
– For important issues where unpopular courses of action need implementing
– When you are right to protect yourself against those who take advantage of you

Collaborating is best used:

– To find a solution when both concerns are too important to be compromised.
– When your objective is to learn, test your assumptions, understand the others viewpoint
– To merge insights from people with different perspective

Compromising is best used:

– When goals are important, but not worth the disruption of a more assertive approach.
– When two opponents of equal power are strongly committed to mutually exclusive goals
– To achieve temporary settlements to complex issues

Avoiding is best used:

– When an issue is trivial
– When there is no chance of satisfying your concerns
– To reduce tension and regain perspective and composure.

Accommodating is best used:

– When others can resolve the conflict more effectively.
When the issue is more important to others than to you, and to show you are reasonable.
When continued struggle would only cause damage.

Each approach in the model has its benefits depending on the structure of your team and nature of the conflict. The questionnaire helps establish the default ‘behaviours’ you use when handling conflict and CBLD helps you find the right framework for your organisation where changes can be made; acknowledging the behaviours of the various personalities and types of conflict influencers in your team.  Being an effective influencer and an Active Listener are important components also covered in the following CBLD Masterclass:

Influencing Others and Developing Relationships

 A practical masterclass packed with powerful techniques, tools and strategies in how to remain calm, confident and in control.

We can’t help Parliament, but we can help you.

This course is ideal for anyone wanting to learn how to communicate in an assertive “Adult” way, to influence positive outcomes rather than living with the consequences. It will help you improve your overall communication style, and increase your personal credibility and gravitas – which are key attributes for successfully influencing others, reducing misunderstanding and neutralising conflict. An assertive person will achieve their own aims while, at the same time acknowledge, understand and balance the feelings of others.

The masterclass blends behavioural tools and techniques into the course content to improve understanding of individual preferences, building on current knowledge and practice to deliver a uniquely inspiring and motivational module with practical live demonstrations.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Hone their interpersonal skills
  • Manage relationships in the workplace
  • Develop relationships with internal and external customers
  • Use Emotional Intelligence to enhance interactions
  • Apply NLP techniques to build influence and overcome limiting beliefs
  • Use tapping (TFT) to build mental strength and confidence
  • Be more confident when handling challenging situations

Programme outline
(Choose from the following to build your bespoke event)

  • The 5 steps to influence
  • What is assertiveness?
  • The art of saying No
  • Influencing styles
  • The four stages of building rapport
  • The key negotiation essentials
  • Handling resistance
  • Effective listening
  • Motivated communications
  • Managing challenging situations
  • Using NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) to enhance communications
  • An introduction to Emotional Intelligence (EI)
  • Building resilience to overcome negative experiences

Case studies

  • Contextualised case studies using real workplace scenarios are used to practice the tools and techniques, aid understanding and transfer of learning.

**Special feature** (Where time allows)

A short group relaxation is available to close the session (Recorded on mobiles for future benefit)

For more details and information on our full range of corporate training courses, please contact me.