If we try to classify the multiple types of conflicts, we wouldn’t be able to summarize them in just a few categories. There are moral conflicts, ideological, religious, political, philosophical, armed, social, interpersonal, just to quote a few, but what they have in common is that all are born from a difference of interests or perspectives.

Academics and researches have developed different techniques and strategies to move on with the process of a solution in the case of interpersonal conflicts specifically, however, albeit there’s a lot to write, this article will focus on three models deeply correlated.

THE CONFLICT RESOLUTION MODEL

The conflict resolution model was developed for a group of Australian psychologists, that after years of studying concluded that the main issue and of the reasons why conflicts are born is because of the debilitation of the communicational process, being the best way to overcome it by understanding the situation and your position in context (self-awareness).

This model helps to identify the type of conflict and possible outcomes to better understand the situation, your role in it, and how to move on to maximize your revenue.

The model

It has two big categories: Emotional or Rational reaction.

Emotional reaction.

  • Escape (Flight).- The need to escape from the uncomfortable situation ends with avoiding the process of solution. The conflict cannot be faced and the problem remains the same. In this case, neither side will gain. This is a lose-lose situation.
  • Fight.- Aggressive attitudes only reflect the deep desire of winning no matter what. There is no teamwork or negotiation approach because there must be a loser and this can’t be the fighter. This approach is about conquering the opponent and asserting one’s own position in the face of resistance from others. This is a win-lose situation.
  • Give up.- A desperate need for solving a problem could finish with the surrender of one of the parts without giving a fight. This is a lose-win situation.

Rational reaction.

  • Evade responsibility.- People who feel overwhelmed in conflict usually tend to delegate the decision — and by default the confrontation — to another authority, regularly a higher one. Not all the time the results will be the most efficient or wise because the delegation doesn’t warranty that the decision will be beneficial for the delegator’s interest. This is a lose-lose situation.
  • Compromise.- Depending on how it is perceived, a compromise is a solution acceptable to both parties. It is often felt that although the solution isn’t ideal, it is reasonable in the circumstances. This is a win-lose, lose-win situation.
  • Reach a consensus.- A consensus is based on a new solution that has been developed by both parties. In contrast to a compromise, it is a win-win situation for both parties, because nobody has to back down. Instead, both parties develop a “third way” together.

RAHIM AND BONOMA MODEL

This model, which is broadly accepted in the management of interpersonal conflicts, involves two basic dimensions: Concern for self and concern for others.

The concern for self consists in the degree to which a person attempts to satisfy his or her own concern, while on the other hand, concern for others is about the satisfaction of other people’s concerns.

The five styles in this model were developed according to the magnitude of concern for self or others, and each category can be used according to the nature of the conflict and the situation where it is involved:

If we try to classify the multiple types of conflicts, we wouldn’t be able to summarize them in just a few categories. There are moral conflicts, ideological, religious, political, philosophical, armed, social, interpersonal, just to quote a few, but what they have in common is that all are born from a difference from interests or perspectives.

Academics and researches have developed different techniques and strategies to move on with the process of a solution in the case of interpersonal conflicts specifically, however, albeit there’s a lot to write, this article will focus on three models deeply correlated.

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE MODEL

Psychologists have studied for years people’s behavior, specifically when despite knowing something is wrong, immoral, or stupid, continue with the habit. The perfect example is smokers albeit being conscious of the enormous health problems this bad habit carries they maintain their addiction.

This big gap between what people think and what they actually do became a psychology term named “Cognitive Dissonance”, which describes a state of mind when actions are not consistent with beliefs.

The Model.

It basically explains two scenarios:

  • Cognitive Dissonance.- Where attitude and behavior are cincongruent.
  • Consistency.- Where attitude and behavior are aligned.

Feelings, thoughts, words, and actions, must be aligned and be consistent. If one of them is incongruent, it definitely has to change.

The example is clearly shown in the graph above, if you know, and feel smoking is unhealthy, it’s contradictory for you to keep smoking, you have two options: stop smoking, or find the real reason why you do it and work on it.

What have these three models in common?

To every scenario in which the conflict can move on, the strategies, needs, or aims must be consistent if you are looking for the maximum revenue. Nevertheless, it’s important to be conscious that strategies do not always have to be rigid and they can evolve whereas the process of solution evolves.

Conflict resolution implies reduction, termination or elimination of conflict.

Consistency not only will allow us to draw a clear line for where to walk, but it will also maintain the aims, goals, and strategies firm in the process of negotiation or mediation where the objectives can be easily moved for external factors.

It’s necessary to set goals — even in conflicts, you must have a goal — defining clearly what you want to reach, aligning them to your thoughts, justifying them correctly to avoid any cognitive dissonance to be fully aware of any disruption will help in every stage of the conflict solution process.

Finally, align your thoughts, words, and actions to positive values if you want a positive or friendly response, don’t expect a counterparty reaction with a win-win attitude if you are looking for a war.

“Pay attention to your thoughts, because they become words

Pay attention to your words, because they become actions

Pay attention to your actions, because they become habits

Pay attention to your habits, because they become your character

Pay attention to your character, because it is your fait”

- From the Talmud

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward”