Avoidance - Accommodation - Competition - Compromise - Collaboration

Five Problem Solving Methods

Avoidance: I ignore or refuse to acknowledge the existence of conflict.

As a result, " I lose - you lose," because nothing can be done about it.


Accommodation: I do what you want in order to satisfy your needs or wants.

As a result, "I lose - you win," because I had to give up what I wanted or needed.


Competition: Either you or I will win, but not both of us. This is a form of fighting.

As a result, "I win - you lose," because only one can win.


Compromise: You and I both give up part of what we wanted or needed to settle the problem.

As a result, "I win some- you win some," because we were both will to give a little.


Collaboration: You and I work together to find an agreeable solution to the problem.

As a result, "I win - you win," because we were willing to work together.


Collaboration is the best method for solving all problems!




Thomas, Kenneth, (1976). Handbook of Industrial & Organizational Psychology, "Conflict & Conflict Management." Chicago: Rand McNally.

Options Unlimited (1990). Mediation.


Other Mediation Articles

Dispute Resolution Continuum

Stages of Mediation

The Job of the Mediator

Rules of Mediation

Active Listening

Communicating with "I" Messages

Reframing Issues Positively

Tips for Mediators Asking Questions

Defining the Issues


Brainstorming Inventive Options for a Win-Win Outcome

How to Make Good Decisions

Hints for De-Escalating Conflict

Techniques for Breaking an Impasse

What to Do if They Won't Negotiate

Guidelines for Writing an Effective Agreement

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Annette Nay Homepage

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