Workplace conflict can be both good and bad
- Initiative - Taking action and driving change
- Inquiry - Questioning and ensuring understanding
- Advocacy - Expressing one's or someone else's convictions
- Decision making - Evaluating choices and consequences
- Conflict resolution - Confronting and resolving disagreements
- Resilience - Coming back from setbacks and failures
- Critique - Delivering objective and constructive feedback
When Integrating is Appropriate: Integrating is appropriate in most conflict situations. It is particularly effective when parties to the conflict must work together in the future. This strategy is useful when the conflict is complex and involves multiple layers. When the Integrating strategy is used for resolving a conflict, it sets the tone for future issues to be handled with a similar, problem-solving focus.
When Compromising is Appropriate: Compromising may be effective when people are having difficulty moving forward. If each side gains a little bit, it may be enough to keep the parties involved in the conflict resolution. Compromise can bring some satisfaction to each party in the meantime, but in the long run only integrating will actually achieve the optimal results.
When Competing is Appropriate: Competing is rarely a productive strategy in the long term. But if there is no long-term relationship involved and if your goals demand immediate attention, then competing may be useful. There are situations in which one party must win and another lose, but even in those situations, where possible, use of the integrating strategy would be more productive than using the competing strategy.
When Avoiding Is Appropriate: Some conflict situations can reasonably be expected to work themselves out over time. In such cases it may be best to leave the situation alone. There are other conflicts that are so trivial that it is not worth giving them attention. Sometimes by avoiding a conflict you can prevent escalation to a worse situation. There are also some conflicts that are unresolvable. For example, if two people have conflict stemming from fundamentally different personal values, they will have great difficulty resolving that conflict no matter what.