Couples TherapyToday I’m wondering if you can guess which of the five conflict management styles is the least productive.
Now there are five different styles and we can shift into any of these styles when we consciously choose and when it’s appropriate. Each style ranges in its level of assertiveness and its level of cooperation.
The five different styles include compromising, competing, collaborating, avoiding, and accommodating.
And the least productive conflict management style is… Avoiding conflict. You heard it right. I know it’s a popular one for a lot of you but when we avoid conflict it is both unassertive, so long as you’re avoiding things you’re not going to get your needs met, but it’s also highly uncooperative. Then the individual that you’re in conflict with is also not going to get their needs met.
Now there is an appropriate circumstance for shifting into avoidance temporarily. That is when you’re engaged in a situation where there is extreme dysfunction and/or mean-spiritedness from the other individual and you need to avoid and disengage in order to take good care of yourself. And, if the other individual is your significant other it’s something that the two of you should really be working on as well so that avoidance is only used sporadically, intermittently, and other conflict management skills are brought onboard.
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