Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How do you manage conflict?

As part of my job I get to do some pretty interesting training, today we learnt how to manage conflict. Not just at work but in our personal lives. The training was based on a program developed by Dr. Elias H. Porter and basically states that there are three main ways people react when their in conflict. One group of people fight for survival, they approach the conflict with a must win attitude these people are characterised by the colour red. Other people (Green people) step back from the conflict, analyse the dilemma and then make decisions on how to approach the situation. The last group of people, the blue group, avoid conflict and give in to the other party in the hope of keeping the peace. The theory is much more complicated then the basics I have outlined and you can learn more about it here.

I have found the method you employ or the colour you are can depend on the situation and the person you are in conflict with. For exaple in a professional capacity I am characterised as a Green, I try and look at the problem rationally before taking my stance on the issue. However in my personal life or something I am passionate about I feel like like I move into the red area alot more quickly.

For me understanding how you react in a conflict situation can be so beneficial not just so you can control your reactions but so you can choose how to approach the situation more wisely and come out with a more beneficial outcome. Taking it a step further and analysing how other people around you react to conflict can help you diffuse situations and give you a deeper understanding of how the people around you work and feel.

I find all of this stuff so interesting and am looking forward to applying it to my everyday life. How do you manage conflict? Do you hide away or tackle it head on?


  1. Very interesting! I would say that at work I'm a green, but at home I'm a blue. I hate conflict, but I know that at work I can't let myself be walked all over.

    x Jasmine

    PS. I miss 'Wednesday Friendsday' :(

  2. This is tricky for me. I am such a people pleaser, often to my own disadvantage.

    Tonight I am going to a meeting that I know is going to become very heated, and there is a woman there who is going to get herself all fired up and confrontational. I am reminding myself over and over again today that I am a mature, confident, clever woman who can deal with anything. So bring it on, over-reacting, in-your-face nasty woman... I'm not afraid of you! And I can be far more professional, and rational, than you.

    Whew! Okay. Thanks for letting me get that out!

  3. I think I'm similar to you and more green at work because I need to be. But at home and personal life I think I'm more blue. I definitely step back from conflict. But the weird thing is sometimes I can also be red in certain situations and I just won't back down.

    Either way, this is really interesting. x

  4. At work I'm a blue for sure. I'm pretty much the lowest in the rankings, so I tend to give in to what I'm told. It's also a little touchy when my boss isn't just my boss, but the owner of the company.

    I think in my personal life I try to be a green, but I'm often a hot-headed red haha!

  5. I'm weird with conflict. Part of me wants to hit it head on and battle it and the other part wants to hide. Those two sides are ALWAYS battling.

  6. We do a lot of these types of trainings in my work as well. Unfortunately I think I'm a red. I can get really hard-headed and determined. You're right, it is really enlightening to analyze how we deal with conflict (and our work/personality styles in general).

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