As you learned in a previous lesson, there are five different conflict styles. This lesson will discuss one of these styles, and how it presents itself in various situations.
The areas of focus include:
As we’ve discussed before, avoiding is a conflict resolution style in which a party does not make any attempt to address or resolve the conflict.
As a style, avoiding is:
If you remember, cooperativeness is a behavior in which two parties work together to achieve their goals; assertiveness is a behavior in which a party confidently makes a statement without need of proof, affirming his or her rights without attacking another’s.
When you come home from work, you notice that your spouse is in an argument with your teenage kids over chores not getting done, curfew being missed, and homework not being completed. This is becoming a very heated argument. You think, “I'm just going to go in the office and close the door.” It is your tendency to avoid arguments like this at home.
You are on a trip with some friends. You've saved up some money for this trip, but you notice that you're running low. You've eaten at a few more restaurants than expected. You know you're going to need to bring this up because it's going to make a difference in the trip in terms of some of the things you do. However, you keep avoiding it; you just don't talk about it.
While walking down the street in your neighborhood, you notice there's some kids at the end of the block. It looks like they're getting into a fight, and it’s starting to get violent. You were walking right towards it, so you decide to cross the street and avoid the fight.
This particular style of conflict has, as all styles do, both positive and negative outcomes.
A positive outcome is a resolution to a conflict that a party perceives as meeting his or her needs and/or reducing the likelihood of further conflict.
A negative outcome is a resolution that the party perceives as not meeting his or her needs and/or increasing the likelihood of further conflict.
Return to the example where you come home to find your spouse arguing with the kids, and you avoid it.
Return to the trip example, where you're running low on money and you avoid talking about it.
Go back to the scenario where you're walking down the street and see the kids in a fight at the end of the block, so you cross to the other side of the street.
It’s important to remember that while avoiding might be the style that you tend towards and feel most comfortable with (your preferred style), that doesn't mean it's the only way that you can respond in a conflict.
There are other conflict styles, and you, as well as anyone, can respond in any number of ways to a particular conflict.
In this lesson, you learned about avoiding as a style of conflict, and what the positive and negative outcomes of using this style can be.
You now understand that even though avoiding may be your preferred style, you always have the ability to respond to conflict in a different way.
Source: Adapted from Sophia tutorial by Marlene Johnson.
Behavior in which a person confidently makes a statement without need of proof, affirming his/her rights without attacking another's.
A conflict resolution style in which a party does not make any attempt to address or resolve the conflict.
Behavior in which two parties work in concert to achieve their mutual and respective individual goals.
Resolutions to a conflict that a party perceives as meeting his/her needs and/or reducing likelihood of further conflict (positive) or not meeting his/her needs and/or increasing likelihood of further conflict(negative).