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Dealing with conflict

Most of us have been taught that life is about compromise.  People who predominately use this style expect to give up something to reach mutually acceptable agreements.  Compromising is an appropriate strategy when time or resources are limited or when any answer is better than a stalemate.   While this “Band-Aid” approach provides an outcome, it often does not generate optimal solutions.  

Compromise may be quick and efficient, but the results are not effective and long-lasting. Creativity is stifled.  As a result, the conflict tends to recur because it was never resolved.  All conflict styles, including compromise, have value in certain situations.  However, if compromise is overused, people feel their interests are not met because they sacrifice their values and objectives for fast fixes. Finally, since compromisers need to bargain with others to arrive at the expedient outcome, they tend to focus on tactics and ignore the root causes and underlying interests. Knowing your principal conflict style and its appropriate use can help you adjust your strategy depending upon the situation and the people involved.  The end result is a win/win solution where everyone feels their greatest needs are met.