Confrontation Or Negotiation……..Which Method Works Best?

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonA CONFRONTATION can take on many forms. Confrontations are not always settled with use of force or weaponry. Verbal confrontations can be as deadly (at times more so) than one of the physical variety as the verbal confrontation has the potential to leave deeply rooted long-lasting emotional scars that can easily lead to future confrontations with scores of other people. Conversely physical confrontations can end as quickly as they start while other times resulting in loss of life.

When various factions commit to negotiations it is with the intent of averting a confrontation or ending an existing one. In those instance where negotiations break down a confrontation often ensues. Intense negotiations can also serve as a catalyst for confrontation since the disagreements each side is experiencing with each other are brought to the forefront.

Where is there is conflict there is usually a pre-existing hostility that has been simmering for an extended period of time. Bitterness, resentment, and jealousy are all emotions that at any moment can lead to a heated argumentative situation. It takes little effort to ignite confrontations. Even less effort is needed for things to get out of control to the point where violence ensues.

The family unit that is supposed to be an unbreakable bond is sadly in this day and age a nesting place for conflict and confrontation. Husbands and wives tend to be the most common “combatants” within the family structure. Life’s stresses and strains have the potential to tear apart even the most normally harmonious marriages. In this type of struggle is not so much a matter of an issue but the inability of the couple to communicate with other in a non-threatening/non-verbally abusive manner.

When small children are present during these moments indelible impressions are formed in their minds that only a mental health professional who specializes in children’s behavioral disorders can over time reverse. Children are known to replicate the behaviors of their parents. If the parents only know to try to settle their differences via conflict and confrontation their children inevitably learn to handle things in similar manners.

War is the culmination when nations and countries are in constant conflict with each other. Routinely there are a series of confrontations that escalate as time goes on. Each side will make a commitment to their people they will not stop fighting until the war is won. Irrespect to the amount of bloodshed, families destroyed by the loss of loved ones, onset of disease due to lack of medical supplies, etc. the war rages on. Winning the war no matter what the cost is the prevailing mentality. When the dust finally settles on the conflict the only clear winner is death. Wars are never really won nor can they be nor will they ever be!

Negotiations should always be the first line of defense in order to diffuse confrontation. The concept of negotiation is that both sides exchange solutions by showing a willingness to compromise on the core issues of the conflict. Compromises must be made by both sides in order for negotiations to result in a settlement. In more complex negotiations the willingness to compromise may be taken as a sign of weakness that one side will try to exploit.

Threatened strikes by unions have been successfully averted when negotiations were held. In situations where negotiations fail to resolve the dispute both sides agree to submit to binding arbitration as adjudicated by an independent third-party. The third-party must be dully appointed by high official who is empowered to do so.

Once this process is complete at some point further negotiations will be necessary to avoid the possibility of a flare up. Ongoing negotiations will also need to occur in order for a greater understanding of what is important to each side while learning what “buttons” will trigger a strong reaction when pushed. Button pushing in any context is an exercise to see how far a person or an issue can be pushed in order to uncover a weakness or vulnerability that can be used against them.

It is not unheard of that peaceful negotiations suddenly result in conflict. As both sides talk an issue that was seemingly settled in the distant past resurfaces bringing with it a new confrontation in the making that may dwarf the prior one in terms of viciousness. The and perhaps only way to avoid this situation from occurring is that prior to the start of negotiations it is agreed the past will not be allowed into the present. We can always look back at the past but we can never change it.

So here we have almost a good versus evil scenario. Conflict/Confrontation is bad while negotiation is good. There are drawbacks each way. There are times when conflict/confrontations are necessary in order to bring closure with the provision a safely controlled environment is provided for. War is the exception to the above as nothing good will ever come out a war. Negotiation/mediation is always the most ideal solution but not 100% guaranteed to be successful.

As to the question which method works best the answer in my estimation is both.

Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity has brought to life a more "user friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that result in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me us to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.
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