5 FORMS OF PROBLEM SOLVING AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
Competition: (winner and loser) One individual or team is singled out as a winner and the other party is not. Think of sporting events such as the OLYMPICS. It is competitions within competition. Lots of problems within relationships the parties attempt to solve the issue with competition and they keep score. Sibling Rivalry is most often based on competition with each other.
Capitulate: (winner and loser) in this style of problem solving one party concedes or relinquishes their position or “side” of the issue and gives up. There is rarely a resolution to the situation. In abuse situations the victim repeatedly “gives in” and “gives up” trying. The primary results are that there is no resolution until the victim totally exits the situation and may need assistance from a neutral party to find resolution. The winner gains a sense of power and thus may increase efforts.
Compromise: (win some/lose some and win some/lose some) This is a series of trade off so that each party achieves some resolution and gives up some of the issues involved. This form of problem-solving and conflict resolution is how the Congress of the United States was designed to resolve and problem solve. The members of Congress are supposed to argue and debate all issues until the “best practices” solution can be achieved to represent the whole country and the states. It is the most common form used within the arbitration system of the Courts.
Collaboration: (consensus) Neither party leaves the conflict until resolution is approved on all sides, which is the goal of Mediation; an extremely intensive form of conflict resolution and problem-solving. This takes practice and skill.
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:
To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor; to cooperate with or willingly assist an enemy of one’s country and especially an occupying force; to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected. (1996 edition)
Collaboration is the number one problem resolution tool used in the mediation of children’s needs within Washington State. In pre-marriage counseling, I work very diligently to teach this method of communication to new couples and add the language of nonviolent compassionate communications. My spiritual community uses collaboration as how we govern, it takes time but it is well worth the effort, energy and practice.
Which form of resolution do you use most often? Do you enjoy competitive activities? How do you feel when you achieve a collaborative success? How do you practice?
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