The Key to Effective Conflict Management: Everyone Should Be a Winner

Whether you are trying to manage conflict between others or are in the midst of a conflict yourself, the one thing you should keep in mind is that the key to effective conflict management is everyone should be a winner. A conflict is never successfully resolved and will come back to haunt you in the future if someone walks away a loser. Everyone needs to be a winner so that there are no hard feelings that will rekindle at some later date, maybe at the slightest provocation. But, how can everyone walk away a winner? It’s not always easy but it is possible.

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A Look at Outdated Models of Conflict Resolution

The model of conflict resolution which many people are still operating under was developed back in the 1970s by two men named Ralph Kilmann and Kenneth Thomas. In this model they set out what they defined conflict as falling into at least one of five different styles. These included:

  • Avoiding
  • Accommodating
  • Compromising
  • Collaborative
  • Competitive

If you look carefully at those styles, those models of conflict you will see that typically one side wins and the other loses. Or, as in the case of compromising or accommodating, neither side loses but neither side gets what they really want; neither side is a winner. In today’s acuity training model, assertiveness leads to everyone walking away with something they want and thus, everyone wins.

Assertiveness as a Method of Conflict Management – How Does That Work?

The problem most people have in understanding assertiveness as a means of conflict management or conflict resolution is that altogether too often ‘assertiveness’ is confused with aggression. When you are assertive you are not aggressive as you would be in the combative model. You are not trying to argue a point you are merely asserting what you see and what you want. You are willing to concede (compromise) a few points so that the other side walks away with something they want but each side asserts what they want and are willing to work through the conflict so that both can get some, if not all, of what they came to the table looking to gain.

You Are Not on the Attack!

The key to assertiveness is to understand that you are not on the attack. You are not belittling the opinions of others or in any way, shape or form denigrating their stance in the conflict. What you are doing, on the other hand, is expressing your view and what you want to happen. In the 1980s it was defined as making ‘I statements.’ “I see this. I want that. I feel this way.” And, the list goes on. It’s not about “You must be stupid because you want something other than what I want.” Rather, it’s about “I understand how you feel but this is how I feel. This is what I want. Can we not find a way for both of us to get what we want?”

So you see, being assertive isn’t being combative and it certainly isn’t avoiding the issues at hand. What assertiveness is may be defined as a good blend of being accommodating, compromising and collaborative. You are willing to accommodate the other and compromise on some key points. You will collaborate with them to help them get what they need so that you get what you need. It’s a new paradigm based on asserting your wants and needs without denigrating what the other wants and needs. Often referred to as the ADR model, Alternative Dispute Resolution, those older models are blended with a healthy mix of assertiveness and everyone walks away a winner.

Tinnitus Sufferers Start to See Environmental Conditions Improve

One of the most interesting political non-events of the past decade has been a lack of recognition for the growing number of Americans that suffer from tinnitus. To be certain, the dual wars that America fought abroad created part of the problem as service people were exposed to sonic and other wave weapon warfare for the first time.

Yet when they returned, instead of being treated to the same conditions as they had when they left, they and other Americans that had tinnitus were exposed to security systems and marketing programs that utilized 3d-sonic and directed sound inside many big-box retailers. That exposure caused their condition to worsen, making some of their number interested in contacting an effective healthcare lawyer, like Jerry Sokol from Miami.

The notion is that using a beam of sound that is directed only to one shopper at a time was violating their rights within the store. Different from traditional store speaker systems, the audio can be pointed via the same type of tracking systems that the Customs and Border Patrol people use at the border. Their radar is so sophisticated that it can put sound in either ear- or it can provide haptic response to any part of a returning American’s body.

In as much as at least one retail giant admitted that their system was illegally put into use at their store, it made a lot of sense that someone like Jerry Sokol might be able to make a difference for those that had been attacked.

Yet it took a while for the confusion regarding directed sound to go away. According to the US Army, sonic and other wave weapons are designed to distract and debilitate those who are hit by them, with some of the effects being potentially permanent. If you listen to the manufacturers of the systems, however, the benefits outweigh the risk. They can knock people down with a sound blast or whisper in their ear while they are protecting their property. You will also find that some manufacturers talk about how sonic can they allow you to surreptitiously talk to people- even through the walls of their home when the proper filter is applied. So to those that are in the home and commercial security business, there really aren’t any untoward effects because if there were, they would be liable.

For people that are faced with a long recovery from tinnitus, things are getting brighter. The retailers and offices that have their systems being used in places like Southern California are using a database that is centrally updated and connected to the Internet- which makes it easy for shoppers hit by sonic to demand that they be removed from the database.

It was only a couple of years ago that this wasn’t possible because a Doctor at OHSU published study results that show that using sonic to treat tinnitus was actually beneficial. While opinion on that paper was pending, it was easy for security people to point to that as a reason that it didn’t seem like the effects of the retail systems were that negative. Fortunately, outside parties in the medical community and in the press pointed out that no other study came close to matching the results that were claimed.

So if you suffer from tinnitus and have experience being hit at malls or businesses with directed sound, you can feel confident when you go to complain about it because unless you are stealing something, it is not necessarily legal for them to use their system on you.