Breadcrumbs - Site Navigation

Dealing with conflict

A colleague once told me that a co-worker had a “my way or the highway” attitude.  It was causing friction in the department. It sounded as though the co-worker used a competing conflict strategy to resolve problems. 

 People who measure high on competing often relentlessly work at having their own needs met, even if it means others’ interests are ignored.  Using power connected to position, rank, or expertise, they force outcomes to get their way by coercing or outwitting the other person. 

Co-workers who predominantly use a competing style may feel vindicated when others are defeated or humiliated.  There is a mindset that life is a game, and in games there are winners and losers.  In this game of life, I win, so you must lose.  As a result, relationships often suffer, needed changes are stalled, and decisions are made by reacting to crisis situations. 

Working with a person who uses this style can be challenging.  As you determine whether or not to approach them, consider the importance of the issue to you and to them, the value you place on the relationship, and how much power you both bring to the table.  Finally, look for points of agreement, respectfully communicate your needs, and maintain your own integrity.