Compromise Conflict Style: At A Glance

Compromise Conflict Style

The compromise conflict style allows the parties to find a way to resolve conflicts adequately and move forward. Dealing with conflict is a part of daily life for everyone. Conflict arises in the home, workplace, or social settings in even the most healthy relationships. Maintaining harmony can be difficult when multiple parties work together on the same project with a co-worker or trying to raise a family.

To add to the difficulty, each person has their style or approach to resolving and reducing conflict, but this does not always find the best solution or allow the issue to be resolved quickly. Some people may adopt what is known as the compromising conflict style, which means that they will allow their opponent to gain traction on what they deem moderately important while encouraging the other party to give them what they want. This article will briefly examine each conflict style before honing in on the compromising style and discussing how and when to use it.

Defining the Five Conflict Management Styles

A conflict management style is the role you play when approaching a conflict. It can match or clash with the other party’s style and shift depending on the situation at hand. A fallback conflict management style is often developed throughout childhood and adolescence; however, it can be shifted and developed intentionally in adulthood and professionally. It is how you approach conflict and can change in various settings and with different people involved. There are five styles of conflict management, which we will discuss in turn.


The accommodating style focuses on setting aside one’s needs and letting the other side get what it wants to keep the peace. The relationship between the parties involved in the conflict is the most important thing for this type. This will often cause the parties to find a quick solution to save time or the relationship, and this temporary solution will rarely satisfy either party.


The avoiding style focuses on how to avoid conflict and confrontation rather than how to resolve the dispute. The most important thing for the avoidant person is to protect their inner peace rather than fighting with others to get what they would like. This style can often result in a win-lose solution that does not fully resolve the issue or delays it until later if the other party cannot encourage them to participate.


Collaborating is often preferred for finding a win-win situation and creative ways to resolve conflict. Those who use the collaborative style usually focus on finding common interests and new ideas between the parties and use creative problem-solving to find a mutually acceptable solution. They dive into conflict resolution and consider each perspective. Finding a win-win solution is the primary goal of this style.


The competing style focuses on getting the best outcome for yourself without considering what the other person needs, with little room for a middle ground. This is most common when the negotiation or conflict situation resolves around limited financial resources with little room to create additional interests to work with. This conflict style will often cause negative long-term repercussions or resentment and results in a win-lose or lose-lose situation.


The compromising conflict style focuses on dealing with conflicts justly and equitably rather than in a mutually agreeable solution. It aims to get both parties to give up things in tandem to create a fair deal for everyone. A savvy negotiator may be able to skew the results in favor of one party. Still, in most cases, it creates a lose-lose situation that only partially satisfies either party.

As discussed above, each conflict management style has pros and cons and can be used strategically. The rest of this article will examine the pros and cons of compromising conflict style and how to handle it to use your conflict management skills to your advantage when necessary.

The Pros and Cons of Compromising Conflict Management Style

Like any conflict style, compromising style can be a tool or a barrier to an agreement on conflicts. However, a thorough understanding of the compromising style and its options can help you determine if it is the appropriate conflict resolution mechanism to deal with various situations and any disagreement.


The parties to a conflict may find the idea of a compromise helpful in certain situations, particularly when looking at the relationship between the parties. Several advantages of the compromising style include:

  • Saves Time: Because the goal of a compromise is for each person to give a little in exchange for a little, the negotiations will often move toward an agreement quickly because the plan for negotiation is already laid out. This allows the parties to find an excellent option to move forward on.
  • Saves Relationships: Because both parties must compromise to achieve an agreement, they will often save their relationship, as no one is seen as a winner or loser, and there tends to be some acknowledgment of the give-and-take.


There may also be times when the parties cannot adequately address the conflicts with this style, including:

  • Missing Concerns: A compromising style will often lead to the parties missing concerns of one or both parties to find the compromise. This can make the conflict reoccur and lead to a cycle of compromising to push the issue down the road.
  • Less Enthusiasm: Some people may perceive an attempt to reach a compromise as a show of disinterest or missing enthusiasm for the topic, which can be harmful in some situations.
  • Industry Compliance: In some instances, you may not be able to participate in a compromise because it goes against the industry standard for the issue.

Final Thoughts

The compromising conflict style is often called the “lose-lose” method. A compromise may not be the best option for every situation, so it must be used well and sparingly to reduce conflict.

To learn more about the compromise conflict style and other conflict management strategies, contact ADR Times!

Emily Holland
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