Thomas & Kilmann Five Conflict Management Techniques (Part 1)

There is always a plan and a goal in constructing and conducting every project, the point is many projects experience different conflict during the process. It’s the project manager's job to prevent or resolve these obstacles as fast and as efficiently as possible. The ability to solve conflicts is essential for a project manager. In 1974, Kenneth W.Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann introduced their Thomas–Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Since then, those five conflict management techniques have been accepted and widely used in different aspect. This article will provide an insight into Thomas & Kilmann's five conflict management techniques in project management.

Conflict management techniques number 1: Avoiding

Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative, this is when people just ignore or withdraw from the conflict, neither pursues his concerns nor those of the other individual. They choose this method when the discomfort of confrontation exceeds the potential reward of the resolution of the conflict, thus he does not deal with the conflict. Avoiding is to postpone an issue until a better time, or just simply withdrawing from a threatening situation completely. While this might seem easy to accommodate for the facilitator, people aren’t contributing anything of value to the conversation and maybe withholding worthwhile ideas. But always remember that when conflict is avoided, nothing is solved. 

Conflict management techniques number 2: Competing

Competing is used by people who go into conflict planning to win. They’re assertive and not cooperative, which is mostly because an individual pursues his concerns at the other person’s expense. This method is portrayed by the assumption that only one side wins while everyone else loses. It also allows no room for diverse perspectives into a total picture. Competing might work in sports or war, but it’s rarely a good strategy for group problem-solving, as this is a power-oriented mode in which you use whatever power seems appropriate to win your position. 

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