Rethinking Interpersonal Conflict Strategies: Is Avoiding really that Bad?

Professor Jiro Takai of Nagoya University discusses his research on interpersonal conflict resolution strategies and elaborates on why, when and how avoiding conflict can actually be a wise choice in managing interpersonal conflict.

Conflicts abound in our everyday relationships, and their skillful management is the key to interpersonal harmony. In dealing with conflict, the perception is that we should directly confront the other party with the issues, followed by constructive, mutual communication and negotiating a solution that leads to both parties being able to fully fulfill their respective goals. At the other end of effectiveness scale is the avoiding conflict style. Avoiding leaves the issue outstanding, with the other party not aware of doing you any injustice, and your dissatisfaction with him/her increasing until you snap. Avoiding, according to Rahim (2002), lacks self-concern, as well as other-concern, leaving nothing resolved, and surely ending up in a lose-lose situation. This talk will elaborate on why, when and how avoiding can actually be a wise choice in managing interpersonal conflict.

Professor Jiro Takai

Jiro Takai is professor of social psychology at Nagoya University, Japan. He has served in the executive committees of the Japan Society for Social Psychology, the Japan Group Dynamics Society, the Japan Intercultural Education Society, the Communication Association of Japan, and the Japan-US Communication Association. His research interests include cross-cultural matters, particularly in the context of interpersonal communication as well as interpersonal competence, self-presentation and multi-faceted self-concept.

Professor Takai was Conference Co-Chair and a Featured Presenter at The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2014 (ACP2014) in Osaka, Japan.

Watch a follow up interview with Professor Takai on conflict avoidance.

Posted by IAFOR