The Conflict Management Styles* that leaders use most often include: Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Avoiding, and Accommodating. Each style is appropriate for some situations, but Collaborating and Compromising are the most constructive styles and should be used most often by leaders. The Powerpoint presentation below gives an overview of the different styles and when to use them.

Armed with the knowledge of the Conflict Management Styles, leaders can select the most appropriate style for the circumstances and employees (or peers) involved and become significantly more successful at navigating and resolving conflict.

Selecting the Right Conflict Management Style & Responding to the Source of the Conflict Leads to Mastery

When a leader understands and responds to the correct conflict source and chooses their conflict management style for the situation, they can become truly masterful at managing conflict. These two conflict management tools, used in tandem, are extremely effective.

Contributing factors to workplace conflict include diverse work styles, communication styles, personalities, and cultural background. In addition, business conditions, such as competing business goals, job duties, and resource needs lead to conflict in the workplace.

The High Cost of Unresolved Conflict

It’s been said that workplace conflict is inevitable. It has the potential to be disruptive and corrosive to trust between team members (and between the manager and their team.) Unmanaged conflict can lead to low employee morale, decreased productivity, product quality issues, missed sales goals, absenteeism, and/or employee turnover, among other adverse business effects.

The cost of unresolved conflict is high.

Benefits of Effective Conflict Management

On the flip side, the process of resolving conflict is an opportunity for creativity, innovation, and team building.

It’s worth significant effort to apply knowledge of the Sources of Conflict and the Conflict Management Styles.

*These Conflict Management Styles are based on the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Modes.

Conflict Management Styles Explained

The Powerpoint Presentation below contains an explanation of the Conflict Management Styles and the appropriate situations using them.

Questions to Consider When Applying the Conflict Management Styles

Below are questions to consider when working to attain the ability to select the most effective Conflict Management Style for each situation.

  • Are there categories of conflict that you need to shift to a new Conflict Management Style?
  • What will you do to deepen your learning about Conflict Management Styles?
  • How will you incorporate the selection of an appropriate Conflict Management Style for each conflict into your everyday leadership?
  • How can you create a collaborative work environment?

Be the Leader you’ve always wanted to be!