According to my TKI-conflict profile, one of the conflict-handling modes I use less is the Competing approach. Frankly, I believe this is fairly accurate. The Competing mode entails the enforcement of unpopular rules and discipline. As to why I’m less inclined to utilize this mode, I suspect it, in part, stems from the conditions under which I was raised. Nigerian society places a lot of emphasis on the respect of the opinions and ideas of older individuals, even in situations that do not warrant such. We’re often taught to cater to the egos of those that came before us, a ridiculous premise if I’m being entirely honest. As a result, Nigerian kids are taught to listen and avoid rocking the boat. The last thing we want to do is what would be perceived as “unpopular”. I’ve actively worked to dismantle this viewpoint but it often sneaks into the decisions I make. I wish to protect the feelings of others, often at the expense of my comfort. I suppose I must concede that I do underutilize the Competing mode.
I believe the Competing approach is essential when quick decision-making is crucial. This can vary from times of crisis within a family to internal disputes within a firm. It’s occasionally necessary to put one’s foot down on certain subjects, especially when you’re certain in your stance. Furthermore, if elements of the Competing mode are not used, people may attempt to take advantage of your passive behavior. This is where I find myself struggling quite a bit. As I said earlier, the thought of being the cause of someone else’s discomfort makes me cringe. Hence, I find myself bending over backward to appease people who don’t have the same commitment to me, overanalyzing the comments and cracks I make. Regardless, I’m making efforts to insulate myself from my need to protect others before myself.
Interculturally speaking, the Competing mode allows one to defend their opinions about their heritage, within reason of course. It gives one the tools to discourage others from trampling the aspects of your customs they may not understand or appreciate. Moreover, when making decisions that affect multiple peoples, it’s of the utmost importance to speak up and contribute to the discussion. Those decisions will have lasting effects and the regret generated by not taking a stand will linger. To conclude, the Competing mode is a valuable tool in the arsenal of any individual, useful within day-to-day life and on larger, more formal scales. It’s one I hope to master to the best of my ability.