Picking up where we left off in Handling Conflict Part 1, here are more conflict styles and how they can be used.
Agreement vs. Coercion
Someone who uses an agreement style (functional) realizes that power plays are not the way to resolve the conflict. Someone who uses coercion (dysfunctional) is manipulative and attempts to gain an advantage in the situation to get want he or she wants.
De-escalation vs. Escalation
When dealing with a problem, the last thing you want is for it to get out of hand. By having a de-escalation (functional) mindset, you can solve more problems than you create. With escalation (dysfunctional) problems seem to grow larger. This can lead to letting yourself get worked up, possibly acting out in anger.
Focusing vs. Drifting
If you are having a conversation about a conflict, it is important to focus on one subject at a time (functional). If you have a habit of drifting (dysfunctional), you may be bringing in issues that have nothing to do with the actual problem. Bringing up unrelated problems can lead to a carried out argument that lasts longer than it should. You may find yourself arguing about things that had nothing to do with the original problem.
Foresight vs. Shortsightedness
Don’t lose the war trying to win the battle. People that see in foresight (functional) choose their battles wisely. They realize that the bigger picture is having a happy and fulfilled interpersonal relationship. Shortsighted people (dysfunctional) may jump to conflicts and fixate on small things to be right or to “win.” However, it is important to focus on the bigger picture.
Utilizing these functional conflict styles and being able to identify and prevent the dysfunctional styles can strengthen your communication and relationships with others. Remember that conflict isn’t good or bad, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.