Conflict and its Characteristics

Essay by angelz2uCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2009

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When a team sees the word, conflict, it brings to mind negative connotations; but sometimes it can be a positive experience with grand results. With good leadership and teamwork, conflict can work for a team and not against it.

So, a team hears conflict and thinks, "Oh, no! Here we go again!" However, there are different types of conflict; some good and some bad. Sometimes, how you react to conflict makes all the difference. If you respond in a negative way, then you should expect negative results. If you respond positively, then a positive result should follow.

Conflict CharacteristicsThe different characteristics of conflict come in five different styles. They are "1) avoidance, 2) accommodation, 3) competition, 4) compromise, and 5) collaboration." (Engleberg, I., Wynn, D., and Schuttler, R., 2003). Avoidance occurs when the members of a group avoid the subject that brings the conflict; they will often pretend the conflict is not even present and stay away from confrontation.

This is not a productive approach and will cause issues amongst the team members and leave the problem to fester. However, a cooling off period can be productive if it gives the team a time to cool down and think rationally.

According to the Decision Making and Conflict Resolution, (Engleberg, I., Wynn, D., and Schuttler, R., 2003) "a genuine desire to get along with other group members is often the motivation of accommodators. Such members believe that giving in to others serves the needs of the group even when the group could benefit from further discussion." This is the accommodation style. Often, the accommodators will be viewed as being subpar and their input will have very little value. On the other hand members who are accommodating are very good at inspiring the other members to just get along. This will help...