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:
- Accommodating as a conflict style
- Positive/negative outcomes of accommodating
1. ACCOMMODATING AS A CONFLICT STYLE
Recall that accommodating is one of the five conflict resolution styles in which one party sacrifices his/her own needs in order to help meet the needs of another.
- A conflict resolution style in which one party helps to meet another’s needs at the expense of his/her own.
As a style, accommodating is:
- High in cooperativeness
- Low in assertiveness
- Behavior in which two parties work in concert to achieve their mutual and respective individual goals.
- Behavior in which a person confidently makes a statement without need of proof, affirming his/her rights without attacking.
Let's take a look at some examples of accommodating.
You have plans over the weekend to go out with a friend, and there's a movie you'd really like to see. You've been looking forward to seeing it, but your friend really wants to see something else. You say, “Okay, we’ll go to the movie you want to see.”
You’re really disappointed because while the movie was fine, you didn't really want to see that movie. It seems like you're always going to see what somebody else wants to see.
You're in a team meeting at work. The team is divvying up some roles, and the leader asks, “Who will be the secretary and take minutes for this meeting?” Nobody wants to do that, so there are no volunteers. You start to feel a little uncomfortable in the silence, so you say, “I’ll do it.”
Everybody smiles and says, “Thank you so much. You always do it.” You are always offering to do the things other people don't want to do.
2. POSITIVE/NEGATIVE OUTCOMES OF ACCOMMODATING
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.
- Positive/Negative Outcome
- 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).
Think about the movie scenario.
- Positive outcome: Your friend always enjoys hanging out with you because you like to do what she likes to do.
- Negative outcome: You never get to do what you want to do. You feel like you’re always doing what someone else wants to do.
Return to the team meeting scenario.
- Positive outcome: Your coworkers see you as a team player. You'll always pitch in and do what's needed to support the team.
- Negative outcome: You feel like all of these tasks are always falling on you, but you don't know how to say no.
Do you tend towards the accommodating style as your preferred style? Can you think of a time when you responded to a conflict with this style? What was a positive and negative outcome of that conflict?
It’s important to remember that while accommodating 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 accommodating as a style of conflict, and what the positive and negative outcomes of using this style can be.
You now understand that even though accommodating may be your preferred style, you always have the ability to respond to conflict in a different way.