The final type is capability trust; when present, the participants have confidence in others’ abilities to deliver on promises. That model recognizes that trust can be harmed by betrayal, but also rebuilt. Various models of successful conflict management have been proposed.1416 The models typically include discussions of common responses to conflict and ways to effectively address conflict. Approach-approach How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts conflict is an intrapersonal conflict when a decision is to be made from two appealing choices. The choices are both positive and equal in the eyes of the decision-maker. An example of approach-avoidance conflict would be a woman who wants to start a business in a local area that promises to be profitable. However, the cost of starting is too high and it may take a long time to return her investment.

Employees on the team become less satisfied and motivated and may turn to social loafing or may even work against other members out of sheer frustration. We can handle conflict better by identifying patterns and triggers such as demands, cumulative annoyance, and rejection and by learning to respond mindfully rather than reflexively.

Common Approaches to Conflict Resolution

This is a conflict where the best course of action is to compete with the customer. The customer is not only causing a distraction to your business but is creating an atmosphere that makes other customers feel threatened. No matter how much money this customer spends at your business, it will always be worth confronting them because it shows other customers that you value their business just as much. Instead, most customers will call the business to report the issue. If it’s before closing hours, the restaurant will send a complimentary pizza.

Talking with people honestly and with respect creates mutually rewarding relationships, even when conversations are difficult. After both parties have had a chance to discuss the situation at hand, it’s time to identify what a satisfactory resolution might be – and how to get there. Ideally, by this point, both parties will understand the other’s side, and oftentimes the conflict will be resolved just through facilitated, open dialogue.

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Research has shown that agreeableness is inversely correlated with motivations for revenge and avoidance, as well as positively correlated with benevolence. As such, one who demonstrates the personality trait of agreeableness is prone to forgiveness as well as has a general disposition of forgivingness. Conversely, neuroticism was positively correlated with avoidance and vengefulness but negatively correlated with benevolence. Consequently, a neurotic personality is less apt to forgive or to have a disposition of forgivingness. In terms of personality traits, agreeableness and neuroticism (i.e., instability, anxiousness, aggression) show consistency in predicting forgivingness and forgiveness. Since forgiveness requires one to discard any desire for revenge, a vengeful personality tends to not offer forgiveness and may continue to harbor feelings of vengeance long after the transgression occurred. Effective conflict resolution serves all parties and preserves harmony.

Learn how to boost employee morale and create a better company… Kiely Kuligowski is a and Business News Daily writer and has written more than 200 B2B-related articles on topics designed to help small businesses market and grow their companies.

Approach-Avoidance Conflict Definition

They can confront Enrico and demand his full participation, they can ignore him while tensions continue to grow, or they can complain to the manager. Just as some forms of stress can be beneficial, so can some types of conflict. Eustress is a positive reaction to stress that generates a desire to achieve and overcome challenges. For instance, some people find that they produce their best work when a deadline is looming and the pressure to produce gets the adrenaline flowing. Team conflicts can also produce positive results when the conflict centers on substantive issues. Relationship maintenance activities are a critical component to maintaining high-quality relationships.

  • Most common of the remedial strategies, an apology is the most straightforward means by which to admit responsibility, express regret, and seek forgiveness.
  • The pros of this are that you can give yourself more time to prepare for the issue before diving in and it’s a low-stress approach when the conflict seems trivial.
  • Crum asserts that conflict can be a springboard from which to learn and grow.
  • Those who are prone to Thinking understand the opinions of all parties, create logical alternative solutions, are firm in their stance, and focus on analyzing and tolerating others in the situation.

On the other end, HubSpot is able to collect customer feedback and use it to create effective products and features. Both sides are gaining resources that help them achieve their goals without having to sacrifice anything in return. While the customer may still be sad and hungry, they’ll often be sympathetic to the employees who are about to clock out. Rather than making employees work longer and deliver another pizza, the company compromises with the customer by offering a free pizza at another time. Both parties had to make a small sacrifice but in the end they each profit from the outcome. Customers, whether they feel like it or not, are logical humans just like you and me. They’re capable of recognizing stressful and difficult situations, and they aren’t interested in escalating them either.


In this situation, it’s best to involve HR or higher-level leadership. To successfully resolve conflicts, you’ll often need to read both verbal and nonverbal communication cues, to remain calm and control your emotions and work to understand the position of the conflicting parties. Common mistakes to avoid are trying to soften the message by mixing it with complimentary statements or using an overly familiar tone of voice initially before addressing the problem. Most people feel they are being manipulated or treated dishonestly when the messages are mixed. Inappropriate humor or comments disrupt the rapport needed for a safe environment. Another common error is using nonverbal hints or subtle comments with the belief they can successfully address a conflict. This technique is risky because one is never clear on the other person’s interpretations of the hints or comments.

  • In the opening stage of the negotiation, you want to set the tone for the interaction because the other person will be likely to reciprocate.
  • Snuff out small conflicts quickly — One of the biggest risks of avoiding conflict is accumulating resentment.
  • The problem here is that all the other incidents come back to your mind as you confront the other person, which usually intensifies the conflict.
  • If your goal is to facilitate a “win/win” resolution or outcome, you show a high concern for self and other.
  • I’m guessing you could move even more mountains than you already do.

Being able to handle your emotions is an essential conflict management skill. This includes being able to emotionally detach yourself from the outcome. Remember, conflict management doesn’t directly seek a solution; it merely tries to minimize the negative effects of conflict and maximize the positive effects. If you’re too invested in fixing the problem, you might fail to reap the benefits of the challenge. If you are a leader, you should practice these conflict resolution skills regularly, but it’s a good idea to share them with your team as well to help them increase their mindfulness. This will also encourage them to take more responsibility for their own interactions, and be more proactive about conflicts when they start to arise. If you’re applying or interviewing for a job that requires conflict resolution skills, prepare examples of how you’ve managed conflict in the past.

Any perceived constraint on individual freedom is likely to pose immediate problems and require a response. Typically the most appropriate response in a conflict situation involves a direct or honest expression of one’s ideas. People from individualistic cultures feel comfortable agreeing to disagree and don’t particularly see such clashes as personal affronts (Ting-Toomey, 1985). They are more likely to assert their own position in a conflict, rather than seeking compromise or accommodation. Is communication in which one person attributes something to the other using generalizations. If Sam says, “You don’t care whether I come home at all or not! Nicki is likely to respond defensively, perhaps saying, “You don’t know how I’m feeling!

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts

To make sure conflicts don’t run right under your nose, arrange regular check-ins. It’s a good idea to schedule weekly virtual meetings so you can keep your pulse on the team’s collaboration and ferret out conflicts. Make video chats a regular part of your team’s communication if you are better at identifying the first signs of a conflict by seeing things. Even the team members who share the most in common won’t be high-fiving each other and sharing laughs every day — it’s just human nature.

Some experts suggest that a potentially neutral way to establish the goal of joint problem solving is to start the discussion by describing the gap between the expected and observed behavior. Other options include asking for permission to discuss a topic or beginning with the facts from your perspective or your observations. It sets the wrong tone to start the conversation with your conclusion, particularly if it is harsh. Some examples of “I” statements are “I feel frustrated” and “I am concerned.” One must be aware of one’s body language as well as tone and volume of voice. The other line of thought suggests that conflict distracts from the immediate tasks and wastes resources on conflict resolution. Whether or not it is occasionally helpful, it is clear that many instances of conflict are harmful. Psychologist Kurt Lewin first conceptualized the approach-approach conflict among the other categories of conflict in 1931, including approach-avoidance and avoidance-avoidance conflicts.

How to Approach a Person Who Prefers Avoiding Conflicts