Your goal may be highly important to you, or it may be of little importance. 2. Keeping good relationship with the other person - you may need to be able to interact effectively with the other person in the future. The relationship may be very important to you, or it may be of little importance. The importance of these two areas will affect the ways in which you act in any given conflict. From these two concerns it is possible to identify five styles of conflict management: High Importance High Importance Low Importance RELATIONSHIPS G O A L S
CONFLICT STYLES The Turtle ( WITHDRAWING ) Turtles withdraw into their shells to avoid conflicts. They give up their personal goals and relationships. They stay away from the issues over which the conflict is taking place and from the persons they are in conflict with. Turtles believe it is hopeless to try and resolve conflicts. They feel helpless. They believe it is easier to withdraw (physically and psychologically) from a conflict than to face it. The Shark ( FORCING ) Sharks try to overpower opponents by forcing them to accept their solutions to the conflict. Their goals are highly important to them and relationships of minor importance. They seek to achieve their goals at all costs. They are not concerned with the needs of others. They do not care if others like or accept them. Sharks assume that conflicts are either won or lost and they want to be the winner. This gives them a sense of pride and achievement. Losing gives them a sense of weakness, inadequacy and failure. They try and win by attacking, overpowering, overwhelming and intimidating others. The Teddy Bear ( SMOOTHING ) To teddy bears the relationship is of great importance while their own goals are of little importance. Teddies want to be accepted and liked by other people. They think that conflict should be avoided in favour of harmony and that people cannot discuss conflicts without damaging relationships.