A Coaching Power Tool By Ahmad Almarzooqi, Life Coach, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Accommodate vs. Confront: What’s Your Conflict Management Style?
Respect provides trust and a safe space between human relationships, all have a desire to be seen and heard, to be acknowledged and appreciated in families, workplaces, in the street, and in public relationships.
However, life is not ideal, we might face challenges and conflict in many situations and locations.
A conflict in a relationship is a kind of disagreement on a common subject, a soft one could be healthy, and some conflicts can be extremely stressful, and result in negative behavior like anger and stress. It might end up in a personal reaction and hence result in long non-repairable damage.
Learning to deal with conflict positively and constructively, without excessive stress, is an important way to improve our well-being as well as our relationships.
How to manage conflict and always maintain a positive relationship at all angles and with everyone we meet despite the situation we involve in?
Strategies and Techniques:
Many strategies for dealing with conflict:
- Confront, is a win/lose situation when the power of one person wins the conflict.
- Denial, you decide on ignorance (there is no problem or not related to you).
- Smoothing over the Problem, leave it AS-IS and do not resolve it, so both forget it as the time pass.
- Compromise, where both give something to reach the middle ground.
- Collaborate, working together to reach common objectives.
- Accommodate is a powerful tool to manage conflict and relationships at work, at home with the community, or with the public at events or on the streets when maintaining the relationship value is more than conflict value for both.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Conflict Management Style
- How much do you value the person or issue?
- Do you understand the consequences of your decisions?
- Do you have the necessary time and energy to contribute?
Based on these questions, you can determine which of the styles you want to select for the situation at hand.
Instead of viewing the goal of a conflict as “winning” or “being right,” experiment by looking at it as a chance to learn, grow, and find creative solutions to meet people’s needs. If there’s a conflict over resources in your workplace, it’s an opportunity to think creatively about meeting the needs of everyone involved. If you and your spouse disagree on where to go on vacation, it’s an invitation to think creatively about meeting one another’s needs. If you try to win the battle for resources at work without considering the needs of your colleagues, you may be successful in the short term, but you’ll probably discover new problems arising and taking more of your time and energy. If you win the battle with your spouse over where to go on vacation, you’ll probably discover that your partner will see to it consciously or unconsciously that you don’t enjoy it.
Confront is not always an opposition to accommodate, each has its situation to use and must be studied carefully, aligned with planned goal, and with measured expected consequences.
As per the Cambridge dictionary meaning (To give what is needed to someone) (1)
Accommodating is to be forgetting yours to satisfy others, low assertiveness, and high cooperativeness, appropriate to use when you want to create goodwill and keep the peace, for issues of low importance. Accommodating skills include the ability to sacrifice be selfless, obey orders, and yield.
Overuse of accommodating style results in loss of attention, frustration, and restricted influence.
Sample of Situations to accommodate (6&7):
- Accommodating an Angry Customer, Company policy can often be a roadblock to customer success, and it can put employees in a difficult position when dealing with a frustrated customer.
- When you are wrong (or poor experienced and knowledgeable), to allow a better position, be heard, and you are reasonable.
- When the issue is more important to the counterparty than to yourself, satisfying the needs of others, is more important to both and will help maintain a good relationship.
- When confronting can damage your image and you need to build up social credits for later use.
As per the Cambridge dictionary, the meaning is (to face, meet, or deal with a difficult situation or person) (2)
It is a highly assertive style, low cooperative, and ends up with a win-lose, similar to the competing style and is used when a person needs to take quick action, handle vital issues, or in a situation where accommodating behavior can be abused. To use it, you need strong negotiation and argument capability or use your power rank and legitimate position, it might end up taking the issue on the personal path, damage relationships at family or workplace, lower self-esteem, and create a stressful situation.
Confront may end up aggressive, autocratic, competitive, intimidating, an attempt to gain power, and pressure to change.
Confronting for the Right Reasons:
For example, some customers have a goal in mind and simply won’t stop until they achieve it, regardless of the consequences, right or wrong, and start insulting others in place.
Accommodate vs. Confront in Human Relationship
Confront the conflicts or accommodating and trying to keep the peace, are always debated, and required professional help to discover what was the best in each situation.
Relationships in the family or workplace must deal with differences that need open-hearted, creative problem-solving to avoid the result in tensions between them. To know which behaviors are changeable and which ones are not, and therefore to be accommodated in the best way, so the relationship is maintained.
The decision when to accommodate or confront is not straightforward, it depends on the other person’s habits, and positions. or forces that can be used and harm the relationship.
Starting dialogue by requesting what reasonable changes you need from the other party is a good positive step, being willing to ask them what small changes in you they wish and being flexible to agree on steps of changes will draw the path to positive dialogue and common agreement. It starts with discovery before selecting the strategy, and how both can co-create the relationship always dreamed of.
Using emotional reaction during the conflict is an example of confronting and seeing yourself under attack. Giving yourself time to breathe and think about results may completely take you on a different path, by knowing the results of a conflict and the consequences of each scenario in which conflict may end up allows you to deal with situations more effectively. the plan should be to narrow down to specific issues so they can be resolved.
Understanding Accommodate vs. Confront
In many situations, you might feel you are right, but the counterparty is difficult to accept your right, you are prepared to listen, but he is not. To compromise and find if the subject is not worth time argument and a positive relationship are Important for both then prepare to apologize or stop this dialogue before reaching the dead-end or conflict. ensuring that he or she feels heard and that you understand his or her concerns. This is true despite your best intentions. Apologizing doesn’t mean you are wrong. It means you value the relationship more than how the subject and who is right or wrong, you express sorry that your partner is upset, and are committed to finding a way forward that works for both (7).
When your intention is to accommodate, you will always find a way to understand your partner’s counter view, by searching for what is important to both, knowing why, and sharing viewpoints/opinions constructively. You will find a way to work together to manage differences of opinion and maintain your relationship by learning how to disagree positively and accommodate.
Find the Focus to Accommodate vs. Confront
When confronting is limiting clients from moving forward, coaches can assist by reframing their perspective from confronting to accommodate, finding ways to overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals, it’s all about core beliefs, which guide us in our life. Finding our ‘limiting beliefs’ results to understand the reason for our behaviors and our reactions, especially if those beliefs are introduced by the circumstances, we grew up with, by our culture, our families, to protect ourselves, or we created them based on one negative experience, despite they were valid in earlier years, under different circumstances, but they may not serve us anymore in our current life or for what we want to achieve (6&7).
The good thing about this awareness is that once identified what is in the client’s, he can manage to change it, with a level of willingness, and commitment to make a change.
The ‘Flip It’tool to switch to non-assertive accommodate behaviors is one of the useful tools created by ICA, used in the training program, and can be used to switch behavior using this power tool.
Challenges in Relationships: Accommodate vs. Confront
As a coach, you may have clients who experience challenges in relationships with others either at home, at work, or in friendship. It is important to know the start of this conflict and what is their intention and how they value the relationship. The behavior and method of communication are the main elements of negative relationships. The coaching dialogue will help create awareness and allow both to see a path forward in achieving their goals.
Sample Questions could be:
- What do you care most about in this relationship?
- What behaviors will reflect accommodation?
- What words can be used or meaning to express accommodation?
- What other powerful questions do you need to ask your client to shift his perspective from a confrontation to accommodate?
Accommodate vs. Confront: A New Perspective
Power tools are about reframing perspectives from a limiting belief to one of empowerment and motivation change. In the case of the coaching model, the coach may focus on one niche such as health/wellness, parenting, or corporate coaching. Even with a specialized coach in one particular area, the client needs to explore other areas with their coach as they dig deeper into their area of concern.
A relationship coach is a coach who specializes in helping clients achieve positive relationships and connections with the people in their lives. This power tool is close to my heart, and I follow in my family, friends, and workplace positive relationship to a great extent. It is also one that most people around me can rely on.
This power tool of reframing perspective allows me to adjust my behaviors, particularly with old relationships and I start to apply it with clients to manage conflicts, they too can begin to reframe perspective from negative conflict to positive healthy relationships.
Thomas, Kenneth & Kilmann, Ralph. (1976). Thomas-Kilmann conflict MODE instrument.
Life coaching connection, (How coaching changes live) - 2012 by Steve Chandler.
The Art of Connection: 7 Relationship-Building Skills Every Leader Needs, 2017 by Michael J. Gelb.
To Accommodate or Confront? The Key Relationship Question, Leon F. Seltzer Ph.D., Posted June 20, 2018, https://www.psychologytoday.com/