Managing conflicts creatively


Konflikte kreativ kontrollieren

When our self-esteem is threatened, we instinctively defend and protect ourselves, consciously or unconsciously. Conflict arises as a result, creating tension for all parties involved. Each person behaves differently and has their own conflict mode, making it challenging to respond appropriately to the numerous behaviors displayed. However, it is a skill that can be learned. Understanding the various conflict modes enables us to creatively manage conflicts and react appropriately.


From aggressive to withdrawn in conflicts


Most individuals utilize one or two conflict modes, which are natural extensions of their personality. There are five modes identified:

1. Aggressive Mode:


Individuals in this mode prioritize achieving personal goals over personal relationships, often resorting to aggressive confrontation to defeat their opponent and enjoy their victory.

2. Accommodating Mode:


In contrast to the aggressive mode, personal relationships are highly valued here, with individuals prioritizing conflict resolution by conceding their own goals.

3. Compromising Mode:


People seeking compromise in dispute value both personal goals and relationships, aiming to reach agreements with their counterparts.

4. Problem-Solving Mode:


While personal goals and relationship maintenance are important in this mode, individuals focus on finding solutions that satisfy all parties involved through collaboration.

5. Withdrawn Mode:


Individuals in this mode wish to avoid conflicts altogether, believing the discomfort of confrontation is unjustified. They tend to mentally and physically withdraw during disagreements.


How D, I, S, and C behave in conflicts


Depending on the behavioral dimensions individuals exhibit outside of dispute situations, their conflict behavior can be categorized accordingly. It’s common for individuals to employ multiple conflict modes.

Dominant individuals exert power, demand, and display aggressive behavior in pressure situations. If the pressure persists, they lose interest and withdraw.

Influencing people attempt to avoid problems in conflict situations, avoiding hurting anyone. If the conflict persists, they concede, adopting the accommodating mode.

In contrast, Steadiness personalities initially concede or wait. If the pressure persists, they become aggressive.

Similarly, Cautious individuals initially react quietly in dispute, being cautious and attempting to avoid problems, placing them in the withdrawn mode. However, if the pressure continues, they become demanding and aggressive, transitioning into the aggressive mode.


Responding to Conflicts with the Modes


There is no one correct conflict behavior or mode. Depending on the situation, certain behaviors may be more or less appropriate. For example, withdrawing may help to cool down emotionally tense situations, while aggressive behavior would exacerbate them. Conversely, confronting with the aggressive mode may provide new insights and drive progress in a deadlock situation, whereas withdrawing would not change the conflict situation.

With knowledge of the various modes, it becomes easier to identify situations and respond appropriately. Ultimately, we can only change ourselves, our behavior, and our attitude towards others’ conflict behavior, not the other person.

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