The Five Conflict Styles
The Competing Style is when you stress your position without considering opposing points of view. This style is highly assertive with minimal cooperativeness; the goal is to win. The competing style is used when a person has to take quick action, make unpopular decisions, handle vital issues, or when one needs protection in a situation where noncompetitive behavior can be exploited. To develop this style you must develop your ability to argue and debate, use your rank or position, assert your opinions and feelings, and learn to state your position and stand your ground.
Overuse of this style can lead to lack of feedback, reduced learning, and low empowerment. This can result in being surrounded by “Yes-Men”. People who overuse the competing style often use inflammatory statements due to a lack of interpersonal skills training. When overuse is taken to an extreme the person will create errors in the implementation of the task by withholding needed information, talking behind another person’s back (or “back-stabbing”), using eye motions and gestures designed to express disapproval, and creating distractions by fiddling or interrupting. Overuse of this style can be exhibited through constant tension or anger and occasional outbursts of violent temper.
Under use of the competing style leads to a lowered level of influence, indecisiveness, slow action, and withheld contributions. When the competing style is underused some emergent behaviors people exhibit include justifying the behaviors, demanding concessions as a condition of working on the problem, threatening separation as a way of making others give in, and launching personal attacks.
The Avoiding Style is when you do not satisfy your concerns or the concerns of the other person. This style is low assertiveness and low cooperativeness. The goal is to delay. It is appropriate to use this style when there are issues of low importance, to reduce tensions, or to buy