Conflict Negotiation: Strategies and Skills

TED Conflict Negotiation

What are the conflict negotiation models?

Here are four models that are frequently employed in conflict resolution, along with examples:

Integrative negotiation or win-win approach

With this strategy, both parties create value by meeting or exceeding their objectives. Both sides seek out solutions that are advantageous to both, combining the objectives into a single primary strategy. This strategy also has the added advantage of forging positive connections for future negotiations.


A salesperson is searching for a new position with fewer travel requirements or with a higher salary to cover travel expenses. They request either less travel or higher pay during salary negotiations with a company. Because the employer can’t afford to pay the salesperson a higher salary, they offer fewer travel opportunities and the chance to work from home occasionally. Because the salesperson can travel less and the employer can hire a qualified candidate within their budget, this negotiation is integrative.

Distributive negotiation or win-lose approach

When only one party benefits from a negotiation, it is called a distributive negotiation. When resources are scarce or there is only one option available to the team, this type of negotiation is common. Given that there can only be one price that is mutually agreed upon, negotiating a specific price for a product is frequently a distributive negotiation.


A promising client who could generate significant revenue is signed by a talent agency. Each agent must make a case for why they are the best candidate for the position because only one agent may represent the client.

Lose-lose approach

In a lose-lose strategy, neither party gets the result they desired. In some cases, each party negotiates for a portion of their desired outcome, but they do not always achieve it in full.


To attract more holiday shoppers, two clothing stores in the same shopping center compete by lowering their sale prices. Both stores may continue to reduce prices until neither makes a profit if a deal to advertise the same seasonal discounts doesn’t turn out as planned.

Compromise approach

In the compromise strategy, both parties acknowledge that they could gain from accepting a decision that limits unfavorable outcomes in an effort to avoid a lose-lose situation.


The same two clothing retailers will have reached a compromise if they concur to promote a sale price that is less than what they had originally planned but still profitable.

What is conflict negotiation?

Conflict negotiation is the process of communicating to reach an agreement that takes into account the concerns of the parties involved and their desired outcomes. Common situations that involve handling conflicts in negotiation include:

How to negotiate conflict effectively

To get the best result, think about these strategies before entering a conflict negotiation:

1. Clearly define goals

To stay focused, it’s crucial to define your desired outcome in advance. Consider the precise figures, deadline, and results you desire so that you have something concrete for your negotiation. You can also strengthen your arguments by setting clear and specific objectives.

2. Consider the other partys background

Sometimes international companies or people with diverse cultural backgrounds participate in negotiations. Being aware of how various organizations and professionals conduct business is frequently a necessary component of a successful conflict negotiation strategy. Pay attention to the people you are directly resolving a conflict with and consider how the process will benefit both of you.

3. Be proactive

Being proactive can reduce or end conflict and foster a positive environment. By proactively identifying the issue and making an effort to resolve it, you can demonstrate that your focus is on improving your working relationships and environment if you feel that you are about to get into a conflict with a coworker or see a potential conflict among team members.

4. Know your role

Your role in conflict negotiation may differ depending on your position within a company. If you hold a leadership position, it is probably your duty to be familiar with your organization’s internal dispute resolution procedures and external vendor or third party negotiation procedures. As a team member, you might have the following roles:

5. Use established forums for negotiating conflicts

Regardless of your position, having a set period of time set aside for discussing problems that need to be resolved through negotiation can be beneficial for your workplace. Team members may feel more at ease voicing their concerns if there is a clear forum for them to do so, such as a weekly meeting or a document that is shared. You might want to approach the other party separately or request that a human resources representative serve as a mediator for more private or delicate conflict negotiations.

6. Be flexible with time

In negotiations, your use of time frequently reflects your goals. In some circumstances, setting a firm deadline for a resolution can promote a direct and fruitful conversation. Various points and counterpoints can be discussed during other conflict negotiations, which can take time. It might be possible to achieve a better negotiated result by being prepared to meet more frequently over a longer period of time.

7. Focus on creating value

Conflicting positions may trigger negotiations, but a value-driven, creative mindset can lead to outcomes that satisfy both parties. Know where your interests and those of the other person overlap and what those similarities are before considering them. Think about the trade-offs you might be willing to accept or make to the other party in order to benefit both parties to the transaction.

Skills needed to negotiate conflicts

Techniques for resolving disputes require a variety of persuasion, analytical, and interpersonal skills, including:

Emotional intelligence

The capacity to regulate one’s own emotions and comprehend others’ feelings is known as emotional intelligence. During conflict negotiation, being aware of the emotional dynamics can help you maintain composure and concentrate on the important issues. Declare that you need a break from the current negotiation if you’re not happy with it so that you and the other party can resume it later with new perspectives.

Expectation management


Research can help you back up your claims and lay the groundwork for your negotiation. You and the other party may comprehend how the conflict arose and how to resolve it if you start a negotiation with a fact-driven and open-minded assessment of the issues.


Empathy enables you to comprehend the other party’s point of view and negotiate using a win-win strategy. This ability is helpful for maintaining constructive conflict resolution that results in connections that last.


What is a conflict in negotiation?

When there are competing interests or when what one wants does not necessarily align with what the other wants, a conflict or negotiation situation is one in which both parties prefer to look for solutions over caving in or severing ties rather than compromise.

How do you negotiate to resolve conflict?

How to negotiate conflict effectively
  1. Clearly define goals. To stay focused, it’s crucial to define your desired outcome in advance.
  2. Consider the other party’s background. …
  3. Be proactive. …
  4. Know your role. …
  5. Use established forums for negotiating conflicts. …
  6. Be flexible with time. …
  7. Focus on creating value.

What causes conflict in negotiation?

Conflicts can occur for a number of reasons during negotiations, but they typically result from ambiguity regarding roles and responsibilities, competition for control of the situation, differences in work habits or attitudes, communication issues, personal or value-oriented differences, and unequal power dynamics.

What are the 5 conflict resolution strategies?

The Top 5 Conflict Resolution Strategies
  • Don’t Ignore Conflict. …
  • Clarify What the Issue Is. …
  • Bring Involved Parties Together to Talk. …
  • Identify a Solution. …
  • Continue to Monitor and Follow Up on the Conflict.

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