Ten Simple Rules for avoiding and resolving conflicts with your colleagues PLOS Computational Biology

Cumulative annoyance is a building of frustration or anger that occurs over time, eventually resulting in a conflict interaction. For example, your friend shows up late to drive you to class three times in a row. You didn’t say anything the previous times, but on the third time you say, “You’re late again! If you can’t get here on time, I’ll find another way to get to class.” Cumulative annoyance can build up like a pressure cooker, and as it builds up, the intensity of the conflict also builds.

Whether it’s a misunderstanding over who did what, a clash of ideas or a tangle of personal relationships, conflict is inevitable in any workplace. How you handle those conflicts can make a world of difference to the success of your company. There are several communication strategies that employers, managers, HR directors can master to successfully resolve workplace conflict in creative ways. As with all the aspects of communication competence we have discussed so far, you cannot expect that everyone you interact with will have the same knowledge of communication that you have after reading this book. But it often only takes one person with conflict management skills to make an interaction more effective. Remember that it’s not the quantity of conflict that determines a relationship’s success; it’s how the conflict is managed, and one person’s competent response can deescalate a conflict.

Conflict Management Bibliography

Sometimes, however, those decisions must be made between two equally undesirable options. In psychology, the definition of avoidance-avoidance conflict includes those times when an individual avoids making a decision because they do not like either of the choices available to them. Avoiding difficult decisions is a way to cope with feelings of anxiety around the possible outcomes of either choice. This avoidance can often present itself as procrastination since some decisions can’t be avoided forever. Eventually, a person will have to make a final choice between the two options they’ve been avoiding in a given situation. Argues that people in all cultures negotiate face through communication encounters, and that cultural factors influence how we engage in facework, especially in conflict situations (Oetzel & Ting-Toomey, 2003). These cultural factors influence whether we are more concerned with self-face or other-face and what types of conflict management strategies we may use.

  • In essence, when we compromise, we give up some or most of what we want.
  • Continue to keep an eye on the situation and evaluate how well the solution is working.
  • If you choose to ignore their rude or damaging behavior, most people become bored and leave you alone.
  • This helps an accommodating approach get used to voicing their opinion about viable options in low-risk situations.
  • In order to better understand the elements of the five styles of conflict management, we will apply each to the follow scenario.

She is the author of the funny, but practical book for teachers, How to Handle Difficult Parents . Her work has appeared in many publications including Education Week, and her blog, Practical Leadership, was featured on the Scholastic website.

Workplace Conflicts? 5 Tips to Improve Communication

These conflicts, which start elsewhere, often fall into three different types. Understanding them can help you decide how to approach the situation and properly defuse it. While there are times when avoiding someone and giving the silent treatment is easy, other times may be difficult. For example, it’s not the best idea to start ignoring someone in your professional life, especially if that person is your boss. How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts If you go to school or church or work with someone whom you prefer not to talk to, ignoring them might be a little harder than avoiding someone whom you rarely see. Some of the following tips are ways that you may be able to ignore someone and prevent conflict with that person. While there are times when avoiding a person altogether may be the best way to avoid conflict, avoidance is not always an option.

  • Then they act like a volcano and will often explode on the other person with a long list of issues.
  • The avoiding style is either passive or indirect, meaning there is little information exchange, which may make this strategy less effective than others.
  • For example, your team might be struggling to decide how to proceed with a project.
  • Your mental conflict depends on your purpose behind the task at hand.

The customer is always right — at least that’s what the customer thinks. Customers like to be right and aren’t easily swayed when your business tells them otherwise. Even if the detail is trivial, customers will take the time to argue their point which negatively impacts customer experience. Imagine that you have a long line in your store and at the front is a customer who’s demanding your employee to give them a refund.


It’s true, sometimes people are “annoying,” or you’re busy, or ignoring someone feels better than bad-mouthing them to their face. However, if you’re able to respond and give someone a message expressing your need and speaking from a place of compassion, you may find that you reduce the chance of hurt and get straight to the point. If you need to use your phone, computer, or begin talking to someone else, the other person may think you don’t have time to speak with them. Act like you’re just full of normal life tasks, and they’ll likely assume you’re busy.

It’s accessible to those even in remote or rural locations who normally would have a difficult time finding and obtaining mental healthcare. Below are some reviews of BetterHelp counselors that relate to this article, from people seeking help with managing conflict and communication. Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. Disagreements – when managed well – have lots of positive outcomes, such as better work products, opportunities to learn and grow, better relationships, and a more inclusive work environment. To reap these benefits, you have to get over any fear you have of conflict.

What is approach avoidance conflict?

While workplace conflicts can happen between employees and upper management or employees and customers, most conflicts occur between employees who spend most of their time together. Ask everyone to think about how they are most comfortable handling conflict in their daily lives. China’s mediation diplomacy is part of a carefully devised strategy that suits the country’s non-intervention policy framework.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

In the end, the three of us came up with some specific actions they would take to improve the situation, and we agreed to meet again in two weeks to monitor the progress. I respected and admired Shondra, but I was excited about the fresh ideas John would bring to the classroom. I also hoped he might be a good role model for our boys—perhaps he’d even get involved in some after-school activities with them. Teaming him up with a veteran like Iris would help him learn the ropes quickly. I figured she could give him some helpful tips, especially in terms of classroom management . My optimism kept me from realizing I had whipped up a recipe for disaster.

The frequent and ongoing crises in the Middle East provide a unique opportunity for China’s diplomats to broaden their experience with multilateral global crisis conflict management and mediation. The ability to shape the resolution of international conflicts is central to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s vision of an assertive China taking on more international responsibilities that reflect its status as a great power. In pursuit of this vision, Chinese diplomats are now involved in more regional negotiations than ever before (e.g., Qatar crisis and Yemen civil war). However, it is doubtful that China’s involvement can contribute to either a resolution of the conflicts or a mitigation of the disputes, since Chinese negotiators lack experience in conflict resolution in the region.

What are three signs that a conflict is starting?

  • Body language.
  • Behavioural changes.
  • Cliques developing.
  • Strange comments made. Comments that puzzle you until you finally catch on and then it all makes sense.
  • The words people choose.
  • People taking sides or ganging up in the office, factory floor or in meetings.

If a person still doesn’t leave you alone after you have set a boundary, follow the other tips in this article to distance yourself https://ecosoberhouse.com/ from them. Remember, if a person doesn’t respect your boundaries, they’re not someone who respects you as a person.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *