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, competing is a conflict resolution style in which one party seeks to meet his or her own needs at the expense of another party's needs.
As a style, competing 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.
As the concept of competing is based on the idea of clear winners and losers, it’s easy to see why this style favors a high amount of assertiveness and a low amount of cooperativeness.
War stands out as an example since it almost always involves a clear winner and loser.
Think about a boycott or other form of nonviolent resistance. You could be boycotting regulations that you don’t think are good for a particular group of people; you're trying to protect that group’s civil rights.
In this sense, you are competing against the powers that are trying to put regulations in place that you don't agree with.
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 of war.
Consider the scenario of nonviolent resistance.
It’s important to remember that while competing 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 competing as a style of conflict, and what the positive and negative outcomes of using this style can be.
You now understand that even though competing 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 one party seeks to meet his/her own needs at the expense of another party's needs.
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).