It is usually said that there are three basic ways of resolving conflicts:
Negotiation, where the parties discuss the issues themselves and produce a solution.
Mediation, where a third party helps the disputants discuss the issues and produces a solution. (Here the decisions are still with the parties.)
Arbitration, where a third party reviews each party’s case and makes a decision. In this case the parties do not make the decision but are more or less bound by the decision of the third party
But there is a fourth way, which is much more productive and helpful – prevention. Conflict can oten be prevented from arising in the irst place by the use of good assertive communication.
Styles Of Conflict Management
Obliging, where one party allows the other to have their own way without regard for their own views or needs.
Avoiding, where an individual withdraws, sidesteps or passes the buck – in fact anything rather than deal with the issue.
Compromising, where both parties get part of what they want but give up other parts. This is where negotiating will be used.
Collaborating, which is the desirable, win/win management style. Here information is exchanged, differences examined and a solution acceptable to all is produced. Creative problem solving methods are likely to be used with all parties committed to working out the issues.
There are also a variety of skills that can be utilized when dealing with those in the workplace who are involved in conflict or in a situation that is escalating into aggression or violence. Good listening skills are a very important component of this style, and the techniques mentioned below may be used at all stages.