Collaborating (Problem Solving)

You tend to give equal weight to your views and those of others and seek processes and solutions that integrate everyone’s needs and concerns.

The owl is the collaborator, who is wise and deals with conflict without avoiding the issues.

Trying to work it out by having a conversation and problem solving with the other person is often the best way to resolve a conflict. Spending time preparing for a problem solving conversation can result in an outcome that works really well for everyone involved. At the very least, if the conversation goes well, you will both understand each other a bit better.

A conversation with the person you are in conflict with is a good idea when:

  • You have a continuing relationship with them in the future (e.g. they will be in other classes that you take at university, or you will be living in the same share house for the rest of the year)
  • The problem really needs to be resolved and you think you can both work together to solve the issues
  • Both of you could benefit by hearing each other’s side of the story and sharing information
  • You both have a high level of concern for each other’s goals and believe that a successful solution could suit both your needs

Trying to work it out by talking with the other person may not be the best option if:

  • You are worried about your safety during an interaction with that person
  • You are really emotional and you might say something you will regret later
  • You haven’t been able to prepare for the conversation