Topic 2 Understanding conflict situations and how to manage them

  • Get to know better the others, oneself, and the relationship,
  • Acknowledge the similarities and differences that the two parties have, 
  • Be taught strategies to deal with conflicts more effectively in the future and, 
  • Detect where communicative effort and adaptation need to be strengthened. 

Especially during adolescence, conflicts can be a sign of the adolescent’s need to create a sense of self or to become autonomous and more independent. Since disagreements increase during adolescence, effective resolution can play a valuable role to youth well-being.

Effective conflict resolution has been linked to lower levels of adolescents’ psychological symptoms and higher levels of life satisfaction. On the other hand, avoidance of conflicts can have deleterious results, since it is related to reduced life satisfaction and increased psychological symptoms.

According to the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), there have been described 5 different methods of dealing with conflict. These are:

  • Competing. An individual is using any power available to stand for themselves, they are assertive and uncooperative.
  • Collaborating. An individual is trying to find a solution that fits the needs and satisfies the concerns of both people by exploring the two parties’ opinions and the source of conflict in depth. They are assertive but also cooperative.
  • Compromising. An individual is trying to reach common ground by partially satisfying the needs of both two parties involved in the conflict, without looking into the source of conflict or the different viewpoints.
  • Avoiding. An individual is avoiding the conflict or withdrawing from it. They are not assertive or cooperative. 
  • Accommodating. An individual sets aside their own needs or viewpoints and are attempting to satisfy the needs of the other party. They are cooperative, but not assertive.