Experienced project management professionals (PMPs) know that as they plan and execute projects, they'll encounter conflicts and differences of opinion. As you study for your PMP certification exam, become familiar with these six strategies to resolve conflict.

Strategy Description Situation
Confronting / Problem-solving Confronting the conflict as a problem to be solved When you have confidence in the other party's ability to problem solve
When the relationship is important
When you need a win-win solution
Collaborating Win-win through collaboration and meeting to resolve issues When there is time and trust
When the objective is to learn
When you want to incorporate multiple views
When there is time to come to consensus
Compromising When you are looking for some degree of satisfaction for both parties When there is a willingness to give and take
When both parties need to win
When you can't win
When an equal relationship exists between the parties in conflict
When the stakes are moderate
To avoid a fight
Smoothing / Accommodating Emphasize areas of agreement To reach an overarching goal
To maintain harmony
When any solution will be adequate
When you will lose anyway
To create goodwill
Forcing Win-lose; impose the resolution When you are right
In a do-or-die situation
When the stakes are high
To gain power
If the relationship is not important
When time is of the essence
Withdrawal / Avoiding Retreat; cool off When you can't win
When the stakes are low
To preserve neutrality or reputation
If the problem will go away on its own