Compartmentalize The Conflicts – We Rebuild The Bridges Between Us!

The Five Approaches to Conflict Management.

Identifying when it is appropriate to use each approach. We demonstrate our understanding and which approach or approaches would be the most beneficial for the conflict between certain team members? – Let’s justify our reasoning.

The Compromise

I Lose / Win Some -You Lose / Win Some

Settles differences through concession – both parties get less than what they wanted but at least come away with something. An element of dissatisfaction may still exist. Or, to sum up “good compromise” in a highly memorable movie line, Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good As It Gets, “You make me want to be a better man”. Compromise is the act of finding the middle ground between two opposing points of view, in the hope of finding the ‘Happy Medium’ – acceptable to both parties. Compromise can be a useful and valid method of handling conflict situations or solving dilemmas. Although this can be a mistake that can and will cost John some of his credibility as a decision maker.

The issue between Lee and Jake is one that should be compromised, considering that Lee and Jake are equally valuable to the firm, a compromise is the keep all sides happy approach if the parties are of course willing for this to happen.



I Win – You Win

Involves people cooperating to produce a solution satisfactory to both parties (win-win) Time consuming but desirable when personal relationships must be preserved and require good negotiating skills by both sides.

The conventional wisdom rests on the false assumption that the more employees collaborate, the better off the company will be. In fact, collaboration can just as easily undermine performance. A surprising conclusion about this seemingly sensible practice: The greater the collaboration, the worse the result (measured by success in winning conflicts). Ultimately experienced teams typically don’t learn as much from their peers as once thought. Whatever marginal knowledge they did gain was often outweighed by the time taken away from their work on the proposal.



I Win – You Lose

One party gains an advantage over another at the expense of the other. Generally aggressive as it is based on power Win – Lose, bad for personal relationships and leaves losing Party in a difficult position.

Many organisations around the world fear competition. They are scared that another bigger, badder organisation is going to come along that can offer the same features and benefits, but will offer them: quicker, cheaper, with more customisation, with better customer service, etc. Competition is actually a good thing, in fact it’s a great thing. The reality is competition is everywhere. Competition is not encouraged in many schools, which seems like educators are depriving students of a valuable life skill. Sure you can tell kids/students that everyone is a winner, well what happens when they get out into the real world and realise that everyone in Not a Winner and everyone is competing for that same job at that same company.

Competition is to self-esteem as sugar is to teeth. Most people lose in most competitive encounters., and it’s obvious why that causes self-doubt. But even winning doesn’t build character, it just lets team members gloat. Studies have shown that feeling of self-worth become dependent on external sources of evaluation as a result of competition: Your value is defined by what you’ve done worse – you’re a good person in proportion to the number of people you’ve beaten.

On the other hand when you need to act or get results quickly, competition is critical when you are certain that something is not negotiable and immediate compliance is required.

Arabic and western business people speaking about investments


One party willing to oblige. I Lose – You Win

Often passive or submissive as you are putting the other party’s wishes before yours. Win – Lose okey for trivial or minor matters or if one party does not really mind. When you or your company are at fault, repairing the relationship is critical, and if you have nothing else that would benefit the other side, i.e. an olive branch or gift to rebuild bridges. If you are in a very weak position then sometimes your best option is to give in gracefully. Think about it: if they can crush you, and they know it, what is likely to be the outcome if you resist? Yes, bring your bandages. It may be worth (humbly) reminding them that you will both stand to lose if they put you out of business, and ask if they really want to push you out of the market. If you both intend to work together in the longer term, then refocus the negotiations on the longer term, thereby reminding the other side that their taking advantage of you now may hurt them in the future.


Withdrawal or Avoidance

I Lose – You Lose

Let sleeping dogs lie hoping it will go away both parties lose, lose – lose negotiations are broken before an acceptance outcome is reached One Party / Both Parties may be left feeling resentful and dissatisfied. When the value of investing time to resolve the conflict outweighs the benefit; or if the issue under negotiation is trivial (trivial to both parties). Is the conflict between these team members trivial? If so let it be washed away to make room for tomorrow’s new trivial problems.

Let’s identify 4 problems that this team is experiencing. What actions do we think John (with the assistance of others) should take to address each of the problems we have identified?

Lucid Earth