Chapter 10 & 11
In last week’s reading, Chapter 11 suggests taking a self-assessment to find out what your conflict style is. Although I didn’t use the exact website from the book, I found a different quiz that was probably similar from buildingpeace.org. In this evaluation, you would choose how you would most likely react in a conflict by choosing option A or option B. After you finish answering all thirty prompts, your conflict style is generated using a number. A conflict style ranging from 9–12 means you use that style often, 5–8 means you use it sometimes, and 4–0 means you are least likely to use the style. I found out that I am most likely to compromise in a conflict by receiving a score of a 10. After that, I compete, problem solve, avoid, and then accommodate. The problem solving conflict style in this evaluation is equivalent to collaboration.
Nonetheless, I didn’t have a guess as to what my conflict style could actually be. However, after my results, I reasoned it was predictable that I’m a compromiser. This is a partial lose-lose situation where each party has to give up something in order to get what they want. This makes sense because I am not satisfied if I have to give up everything I want to let someone else win. I’m a little selfish or spoiled in this way, but that’s a character I’ve always had, which possibly derives from me being the youngest child. On the other hand, I don’t like to make people feel bad if they don’t at least get some of what they want, when it’s reasonable. This is a little different from collaboration in the sense that the two parties find a way to obtain all of each other’s goals rather than partially reach them.
According to the quiz, competing is the second method I’m most apt to use. I scored an 8 on this style which means I may use this style if I’m not compromising, basically like a back-up if compromising isn’t working in the situation. Again, I believe this comes from the spoiled attitude I naturally possess as the youngest child. Competing is a win-lose situation where one party uses power in order to defeat the opponent. I may also be a natural competitor because I play sports. Being involved in athletics since I was little, I’ve been competing my whole life, and sometimes it transfers outside of the court and into interpersonal interactions.
After this, I scored a 6 on problem solving, or what the book would call collaboration, where I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. This is the method that creates a win-win solution where you show a high degree of concern for yourself s well as others. I may sometimes use this style, but not as much as I would use competing or compromising. It depends on the situation, the person, and the relationship I have with them. For instance, I may use collaboration when I’m in a big conflict with my boyfriend about an issue that’s important to the both of us. When neither of us will concede in compromising our beliefs, we need to find a way where were can both be satisfied and this is where collaboration would most likely come into play.
Behind problem solving was avoiding, where I scored a 4, meaning I seldom use this style when conflicts arise. This is a lose-lose situation when you simply stay away from the conflict. It’s exactly the name of the style where you avoid it. Sometimes I think it’s better to just avoid a situation altogether and let it resolve on its own before you make the problem worse. Maybe after I’ve had an argument with one of my friends that never got resolved I’ll avoid them for a little bit until we each cool down and then the friendship will go back to how it was before. For example, my friend and I recently had a conflict over a picture of her that I posted on social media. She thought it was ugly and wanted me to take it down, but I didn’t want to. When I didn’t take it down, she proceeded to give me the silent treatment for a few hours which I reciprocated, but she eventually got over it and the conflict resolved itself.
Finally, the conflict style I was extremely unlikely to use is accommodating, scoring a low 2 on this you could say it’s rare that I’ll ever resolve a conflict this way. This is a lose-win situation where you allow others to have their way rather than asserting your point of view. I normally would only use this style if I’m trying to be nice or there’s a small conflict that I don’t really care about. For example, if my friend and I were trying to pick someone where to eat and I pick one place and she picks another, but I’m not really that hungry so I can’t actually tell what I want, I’ll let her win and we’ll eat where she wants to. On trivial matters, I’ll most likely let the other person win, simply because it’s not that big of a deal to me.
Taking this evaluation was a good starting point that has begun to make me aware of how I normally deal with conflict. I know which style I’m most likely and least likely to use and maybe now I can see which ones I should be using more in certain situations and which ones I could try and use less. This quiz can be used as a tool for self-reflection or evaluation to help you improve the way you manage interpersonal conflicts. This self-examination can ultimately be helpful in improving your interpersonal relationships in the future by giving you knowledge on how you react to conflict and helping you see how you could change it.