With a score of 6%, avoiding was my least frequently used mode of conflict-handling. I believe I avoid (haha pun intended) this technique because it directly contradicts my beliefs and values. When faced with conflict, I find the best approach is to face the problem head on. This is evidenced by one of my most frequently used means of conflict resolution, collaborating. Simply avoiding discussion of conflict is almost never the solution; at least, not a permanent one. If an individual takes actions to avoid discussing conflict, the initial problem is left unaddressed. This indicates the problem will arise again another day and the time spent “avoiding” will allow it to grow worse. Whether the problem at hand is as large as political tensions between warring nations or as small as a disagreement between peers, choosing to disregard conflict simply allows feelings such as anger and frustration to fester.
However, I do understand that there may be certain situations where avoiding conflict might be the best option. For example, in situations where the stakes are low and the outcome of the conflict is inconsequential, avoiding the conflict may allow all parties to maintain relationships and prevent any damage that may occur as a result of a heated debate. Additionally, avoiding conflict may also be a useful technique in intercultural settings, particularly in cultures where direct confrontation, especially with elders, is viewed as impolite or disrespectful. In these cases, avoiding the conflict might help to preserve cultural norms and relationships, even if it means temporarily sidestepping the issue. Nevertheless, I believe that overall, the benefits of avoiding conflict are limited and that it should only be used in specific and carefully considered circumstances.
In contrast, employing collaboration can solve almost any problem and uplift the individuals involved to places they would have never been able to reach alone. For this reason, collaboration is a mode of conflict resolution that I use much more frequently and feel much more comfortable with. It ensures all parties involved in the conflict come together to find a mutually beneficial solution. By working together and actively listening to each other’s perspectives, individuals are able to identify and address the root causes of the conflict and find creative solutions that work for everyone. The act of collaborating can also help to build stronger relationships between individuals and foster a sense of mutual respect and understanding. Furthermore, by combining the strengths and ideas of each person involved, the result of collaboration can often be greater than what any single person could have accomplished alone. For these reasons, I believe that collaboration is a powerful tool for solving almost any problem and has the potential to uplift individuals to new heights.