Describe effective strategies for managing interpersonal conflicts.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Different people will have different strategies for navigating the challenging terrain of interpersonal conflict.  If compromise is an avenue that is available, this would be one strategy that could be used for managing interpersonal conflicts.  In this strategy, both parties agree to certain definitions in order to ensure the absence or at least the minimizing of conflict.  Compromise is one strategy that can help to manage interpersonal conflicts.

Another strategy is even more proactive than compromising.  The idea of collaborating on a solution is a strategy that can be embraced.  Collaborating in the realm of interpersonal conflicts creates a very healthy approach to solving the issue.  At the same time, this strategy enables for a future base of partnership to emerge.

A popular approach in the workplace is plain avoidance.  This strategy simply accepts the condition of conflict and progresses with it as a part daily being.  The avoidance strategy is not really a strategy for solving the conflict.  However, it does address it in a manner of evasiveness.  Along these lines, one can simply accommodate the problem, giving in to it so that it goes away.  With both of these strategies, there is an imbalance established and the conflict is not truly resolved.  Rather, it is bypassed and simply internalized.  These strategies also establish a dangerous precedent that one will not stand for what is important to them, but rather accept the limitations of what is in front of them.

Finally, one could appeal to arbitration to solve the problem at hand. This involves removing one's power to resolve the conflict and places it in another forum.  One aspect of this is that the conflict should be put to rest because an outside party is ruling on it.  However, another aspect to this strategy is that it truly removes one's voice from engaging in a solution to interpersonal conflict.

In the end, individuals will make the choice as to which strategy or combination of strategies will work for them.  In the end, the choice will reflect much about the individual and how they choose to address the inescapable reality of interpersonal conflict.

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