Those who avoid conflict tend to be unassertive and uncooperative while diplomatically sidestepping an issue or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation. Use this when it is safer to postpone dealing with the situation or you don’t have as great a concern about the outcome, such as if you have a conflict with a co-worker about their ethics of using FaceTime on the job. Pros, cons, feedback and how to use it successfully are listed in this article.

Benefits of Avoiding 

  • Reducing Stress: This mode allows you to avoid exacting or displeasing people and topics. 
  • Saving Time: Allows you to not waste time and energy on low-priority items. • Steering Clear of Danger: Allows you to avoid inciting trouble. 
  • Setting Up More Favorable Conditions: Provides you with time to be more prepared and less distracted so that you may deal with the matter at hand (Thomas 13). 

Costs Of Avoiding 

  • Declining Working Relationships: Using this mode creates the possibility that work may not be accomplished as people avoid each other. This mode allows for hostile stereotypes to develop and putrefy. 
  • Resentment: Using this mode can lead to resentment from others whose concerns are being neglected, seeing your actions as shifty. 
  • Delays: Unaddressed issues cause delays and may keep recurring. This takes up more time and causes more aggravation than if these problems were addressed earlier. 
  • Degrading Communication and Decision Making: Using this mode may cause people to walk on eggshells as opposed to speaking honestly and learn from one another (Thomas 14). 

Related Feedback and Tips for When and How to Use The TKI Avoiding Mode – The Avoiding conflict handling mode is technically a lose-lose mode where the decision is made to not pursue either your own or the other individual’s concerns. This may sound like a universally negative mode, but it is important to note that there are certain situations where the Avoiding mode can be the right decision. In general, it is best not to avoid other people. In social situations avoiding individuals can be done more easily but when dealing with business and family situations using the Avoiding conflict handling mode can bring along with it much larger consequences. In a professional environment there is an expectation of building and maintaining relationships and also putting up with certain irritations in order to accomplish your work tasks. With that being said, there are cases where the cost of interacting with certain individuals is too high and avoiding becomes necessary for your own welfare (Thomas 33). According to Thomas, the Avoiding conflict handling mode is also appropriate if it leads you to avoid “emotional” conflicts. Emotional conflicts create defensiveness and hard feelings by personalizing the conflict. In order to avoid these forms of conflict you can start by avoiding issues of blame. Instead of focusing on who showed poor judgment or didn’t do what they were supposed to, you can focus on how the process can be improved in order for future outcomes to be more successful. Controlling your anger is also very important as we tend to be righteous when angered and tend to overgeneralize or try to hurt or push the other person (Thomas 34). Another appropriate use of the Avoiding mode comes up when little can be gained from a conflict. Examples of this are issues that are simply unimportant, are issues that others can handle, or issues that are symptoms of other issues. It is also a viable approach when you assess that the issue is one you simply can’t win or is too sensitive to address effectively (Thomas 34). Another way of utilizing the Avoiding conflict mode is to postpone an issues temporarily in a strategic manner. Sometimes the most obvious time to use the Avoiding mode is when you need to find more time to handle a situation. If you are in the middle of a more important issue, then the right course of action is often to postpone dealing with the new issue. In other situations, you may simply need more time to gather information on an issue so that you don’t make an immediate, but uninformed decision in a conflict situation. When dealing with complex or sensitive issues it is also a viable strategy to take a break in order to refocus so that you remain both mentally alert as well as emotionally centered when it is most needed (Thomas 34-35). 

What Does Successful Avoiding Entail – Differentiating between Avoiding and Evading Certain behavioral skills can be developed when improving the efficiency of the Avoiding Conflict handling mode. An important behavioral skill to develop is one’s ability to use the Avoiding mode without coming off as evasive. Using the Avoiding conflict handling mode can come off as evasive when the reasoning for your choice to avoid a situation is not made clear. Regardless of your reasoning you are neglecting the other person’s concerns, even if it is temporarily. In order to minimize the negative impact avoiding may cause it can be helpful to actively communicate the reason you are avoiding an issue and when you postpone a confrontation it can help to set a time for when the issue may be realistically addressed (Thomas 35-36). Another important behavioral skill you can develop when dealing with the Avoiding mode is learning to decide what is important and what is not. It may sound like a simple concept but deciphering what is truly worth your limited time and energy can be tricky. For starters you will want to be clear about your goals heading into a meeting. If you do not have a clear goal, then it’s possible the meeting is a waste of time. Focusing on reaching a shared agenda and then sticking to it while always being on the lookout for new information should be a goal. If those factors are not coming together then you might be looking at a situation that is not ready to be tackled (Thomas 35). These are just some of the things to consider when utilizing the Avoiding conflict handling mode. While this mode is not always optimal, it definitely has its role when conditions are appropriate.