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July 13, 2021 12 min

Conflict exists wherever there are humans in relationship to one another. It’s a natural part of teamwork and therefore dealing with conflict is an essential aspect of any manager's role. When address well, conflict can be a source of strength for a team, leading to better ideas and stronger relationships. When address poorly, or not at all, conflict can undermine even the best of us.

Today's episode is the first in a two part series about conflict. In this episode, I’ll walk through conflict styles and how they can be beneficial or not.  In episode 166, I’ll get into the difference between productive and unproductive conflict, how to deal with conflict in healthy ways, and tips for how to get your team to confront conflict head on.

The full episode guide includes an overview of each conflict style and what they’re best used for as well as a sample agenda to guide your team through the conflict identification process. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at  

Get the free mini-guide at

Read the related blog article: The 5 Approaches To Dealing With Conflict At Work.

Key Takeaways:

  • The five conflict resolution approaches are accommodating, avoidance, competing, compromise, and collaboration. 
  • Accommodate when the outcome is unimportant or when disagreeing is not worth the energy. 
  • Accommodating develops trust and avoids insignificant conflicts but may build resentment. Never accommodate for large, important issues. 
  • Avoidance can give people time and space to get into a better headspace before addressing the conflict. Sometimes conflicts will naturally resolve themselves. 
  • Avoiding the conflict may make the problem worse, undermine your role as leader, and create a culture where conflict festers.
  • Compromise is a lose-lose approach that tends to make both parties unhappy. 
  • Compromise when you’re short on time and need to come up with a solution quickly. 
  • In a competing approach, any compromises or alternatives are rejected..
  • Competing is useful when you step in and make the call, but may make your team feel bulldozed and unheard.
  • Collaboration is a win-win approach of  hearing everyone’s viewpoint and deciding on a sol
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