Conflict always has an emotional component, although both sides do not have to be angry. Conflict can be healthy if it propels an organization to greater levels of achievement, but it is unhealthy if it involves strong emotions and is disruptive to workplace productivity and morale.
The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument categorizes five ways in which people handle conflict:
- They compete, looking for and using the power available to them.
- They are accommodative, giving ground on what they need and want.
- They avoid the conflict, simply refusing to address it.
- They compromise, exchanging concessions with the other party.
- They collaborate, working to find a mutually beneficial solution that meets both parties’ needs.
The VOMP model, developed by Crosby Kerr Minno Consulting, can be useful in resolving conflict situations. VOMP stands for:
- Ventilation: Each side airs its position on the conflict.
- Ownership: Each side takes ownership of what they actually said or did.
- Moccasins: Each side walks in the others’ shoes, expressing an understanding of, and empathy for, their point of view.
- Plan:The two sides strive to find a solution.