Conflict Prevention & Resolution

Trralphium believes that the best approach to handling a conflict is through prevention.We work with our clients to structure relationships that are clearly defined at the outset to ensure that conflicts are less likely to arise.  However, regardless of how much effort is put in to a relationship conflicts do often arise.  We have expertise in handling conflict, whether it be between a business partner or with a government client.

What happens when conflict can’t be avoided?  Tralphium is experienced in handling a multitude of conflict approaches.  Simply choosing your own style doesn’t necessarily mean that your adversary will also adhere to the same style.  Our professionals work with your team to reach a common approach that produces desired outcomes.  Nothing could be more practical and so often anticipated at the outset of any business relationship, yet when conflicts arise its possible that you may face a different approach to conflict resolutions.

Tralphium recommends a cooperative conflict resolution style above all others.  Characterized by an active concern for both pro-social and pro-self behavior, cooperation conflict style is typically used when an individual has elevated interests in their own outcomes as well as in the outcomes of others. During conflict, cooperators collaborate with others in an effort to find an amicable solution that satisfies all parties involved in the conflict. Individuals with this type of conflict style tend to be highly assertive and highly empathetic at the same time. By seeing conflict as a creative opportunity, collaborators willingly invest time and resources into finding a “win-win” solution. 

Sometimes, resolution requires a blended approach.  Conciliation or “compromising” conflict style is typical of individuals who possess an intermediate-level of concern for both personal and others’ outcomes. Compromisers value fairness and, in doing so, anticipate mutual give-and-take interactions. By accepting some demands put forth by others, compromisers believe this agreeableness will encourage others to meet half-way, thus promoting conflict resolution. This conflict style can be considered an extension of both “accommodating” and “cooperative” strategies.

In contrast, some use yielding or “accommodating” conflict styles which are characterized by a high concern for others while having a low concern for one’s own self. This passive pro-social approach emerges when individuals derive personal satisfaction from meeting the needs of others and have a general concern for maintaining stable, positive social relationships. When faced with conflict, individuals with a yielding conflict style tend to give into others’ demands out of respect for the social relationship (e.g., to maintain group unity) because they believe being “agreeable may be more important than winning.”

Some organizations choose to be competitive.  This can be both frustrating and emotional as the group tries to reach resolution.  Groups consisting of competitive members generally enjoy seeking domination over others, and typically see conflict as a “win or lose” predicament. Fighters tend to force others to accept their personal views by employing competitive, power tactics (e.g., argue; insult; accuse; violence) that foster feelings of intimidation.  Tralphium believes this approach to be the least productive, so responding to this style requires a counter balanced approach to promote cooperation.

Some choose simply to let issues go unaddressed.  We view this as a great risk to any initiative and relationship.  Characterized by inaction and passivity, avoidance conflict style is typically used when an individual has reduced concern for their own outcomes as well as the outcomes of others. During conflict, these avoiders adopt a “wait and see” attitude, often allowing conflict to phase out on its own without any personal involvement. Unfortunately, by neglecting to address high-conflict situations, avoiders risk allowing problems to fester out of control.