Share this Page URL

Chapter 20. Real Conflict and What to Do... > Five Different Ways to Manage Confli... - Pg. 217

Real Conflict and What to Do About It 217 Essentially, compromise means that neither of you will get all of what you want, but both of you will get something of what you want. During a compromise negotiation, the two parties are still working in adversarial mode--that is, each person is trying to get the best deal. So in this sense it isn't a completely cooperative process. It's an "I'll-give-you-this-if-you-give-me-that" kind of thing. Here's something you should know. Because the process is still adversarial, new creative solutions aren't likely to come out of compromising. Also, while you can unilaterally avoid a conflict situation or unilaterally yield in a conflict situation, compromise takes two. If one person gives up stuff and the other person refuses, well, it's not really compromise, is it? Compromise is appropriate when ... · you don't really need a creative solution but simply a solution. · the other person shows a willingness to give up some things in exchange for you doing the same. · the cost of compromise isn't too high. It is unlikely to be a wise choice if ... · · · · you need a creative or innovative situation. it makes no sense to implement a partial solution. the other party refuses to give away anything. the issue is just too important. You can see that no approach to conflict fits all situations. Compromise is used often because most people have some sense of how to negotiate this kind of solution. Competition or Power-Based One of the more commonly used methods of addressing conflict is to try to convince the other person you are right or use a power-based approach. While avoidance and compromise sound wimpy, competing or using power to get one's own way sure sounds ... well, manly, doesn't it? In fact, competing or trying to create an "I win--you lose" scenario is probably way overused in the workplace. Why? Because even if you manage to win, you may alienate the other person so that you create a situation where future conflicts can quickly become personalized ones. And that's not good. Insider Secrets You bully someone into giving up the fight. Hurrah! You win. Or do you? What's going to happen the next time? If the person has lost face or holds lasting anger about your use of a competitive or power-based approach, he's likely to be out to get you the next time. That's a huge drawback of relying on competition or power--the loser gets mad. Competing to win or the use of power takes on several forms. The simplest one is trying to convince, argue, and assert your position. It's really trying to get your way. In competition mode, you might use other techniques if that doesn't work. For example, if you have formal authority, you might use that to make a decision, and ignore dissent. Or you may lobby, get support from others, and exert pressure on the other party to give in. For example, you might get the support of your boss.