8 Hidden Features of High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaboration Style

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when we talk about collaboration?

Why do you think collaboration plays an important role in the time of conflict?

Do you think the High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaborative technique can be an effective method for resolving conflicts?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, Meanwhile, I believe that collaboration is one of the most effective conflict resolution styles through which disputes can be handled effectively. It can help build and maintain trust in relationships and bring about positive change to the relationship harmony.

Collaboration simply means working together to achieve a common goal, This goal can be anything, such as a peaceful resolution, restoring normalcy, or making morally correct or incorrect decisions. When High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness collaborating style is used in resolving conflicts, it’s essential to assert your views firmly while giving importance to the concerns of others as well, so that a mutual understanding can be developed. Typically, such techniques should be used when the outcome of the conflict is important for both parties and it should not hamper the relationships. Let’s delve into more detail and understand this topic thoroughly.


What is High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaboration Style?

According to Thomas Kilmann Two Dimensional Model of Conflict Resolution, the Collaboration conflict style is characterized by high assertiveness and high cooperativeness behavior, which means individuals using this style assert their concerns strongly in front of others and don’t hold back anything while expressing their opinions and thoughts but at the same time, they are open to listening to other’s thoughts and concerns so that both parties can understand each other’s pain areas and address them without anyone compromising on their needs.

It’s similar to you listening to my point, and I’ll listen to yours, creating a win-win situation for both parties. The resolution will be such that neither party will have to compromise on their preferences.

If you have read my previous article, it was evident that using the competing style may not be the ideal approach to resolve a conflict as even if a resolution is achieved in this, it may only be one-sided and biased, potentially not leading to a permanent long-term solution, which may result in the dispute to resurface again in future.

The High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaboration style is a teamwork approach where you work with others as a member of the same team, ensuring that the interpersonal dynamics remain positive and their concerns are addressed. You may not completely agree with some of their arguments, but because they are willing to agree to your terms, you, in turn, agree to theirs, fostering a mutual agreement.

The critical difference between collaboration and compromise is that, unlike compromise, you remain firm on your thoughts in collaboration. You agree to collaborate with the others only when they agree on your terms thus aiming for a mutually beneficial outcome.

What is an example of High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaboration Style?

Let’s understand the High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness collaboration style through an example that I have taken from my personal experience where this technique was used to mediate and resolve a domestic dispute between my wife and my mother. I am sure you all must have been through such similar circumstances many times in your household. Let’s understand what happened:

I was raised in a strict family that follows discipline and rules. At our home, everything has a fixed schedule, be it the time for sleeping at night or waking up early in the morning. Breakfast, lunch, and even dinner have fixed times. These things have been consistently followed since my childhood and I have become accustomed to all these routines. My mother has been maintaining this decorum at home for many years and believes that it should continue even when the legacy is passed on to my wife.

On the other hand, my wife comes from a family where there is no hustle and bustle in life, and people have a laid-back attitude. She belongs to a business family where there is no fixed schedule and decorum. Waking up late in the morning and staying up late at night was her usual habit and that’s why adhering to a schedule is quite challenging for her.

After marriage, following a strict schedule became quite difficult for her as it was a significant change in her lifestyle and despite her best efforts, adopting this plan was quite challenging even though she had enough time to adapt to this change.

Like many Indian in-laws, my parents also expected that my wife would wake up early in the morning, manage all household chores, and complete all tasks on time. Now, this might seem normal, but for a girl who is not accustomed to following routines, it becomes a challenging task for her to handle all the morning tasks promptly and complete them on time. There have been several arguments at our home underlying this situation and gradually, these arguments escalate to a larger form.

Now, these conflicts started happening so frequently that it became difficult for me to avoid them. It became crucial for me to understand their pain areas and the steps required to be taken to alleviate them. My wife raised a concern that she is not willing to compromise on her morning sleep, and every day, she is forced to perform some tasks that are unnecessary and time-consuming, which often results in breakfast being delayed. On the other hand, having breakfast on time after completing all the household chores was something that was a non-negotiable ask from my mother.

When I listened to both of their concerns, I understood that some arguments were valid and non-negotiable for both of them and therefore finding a middle ground was challenging. I explained to my wife that waking up a little late in the morning doesn’t really matter much if the household chores are finished on time and the breakfast can also be prepared without any delays. So, if she can achieve this without compromising her sleep, then she won’t have to wake up too early in the morning, and it will keep my mom happy at the same time.

As for the other tasks that were identified as irrelevant during the morning household chores can be comfortably done later during the day and may be a possibility that it doesn’t required to be done every day. If it can prioritized for a later time then it can save a lot of time, which means cutting short on any unnecessary tasks and completing all the mandatory tasks on time thus making both of them happy.

This resolution addresses both their concerns without requiring them to compromise on their needs. Still, it will require them to cooperate to make this resolution work peacefully. It’s a good example of using the High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness collaboration technique, where both parties were highly assertive but also equally cooperative, which allowed them to resolve the conflict successfully.

What are the characteristics of the Collaborating Style?

Some of the important characteristics of High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness collaboration conflict resolution style are:

  • Characterized by High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness.
  • Both parties are willing to listen and understand each other’s concerns.
  • Both parties are not willing to compromise on their needs.
  • A middle ground is achieved when the needs of both parties are fulfilled.
  • Achieving a peaceful resolution can be time-consuming.
  • Focuses on gains for everyone, thus creating a win-win situation.
  • Communication between both parties progresses only when their concerns are addressed.
  • Achieving a long-term resolution is possible.

Why is Collaboration Important in Conflict Management?

Collaboration is very effective in conflict management because it requires a high level of cooperation among individuals who are involved in the conflict. Its importance lies in the fact that it creates a win-win situation for both parties, where the conversation starts with the promise of, “You listen to me, I listen to you” and ultimately concludes in a mutually beneficial manner.

How do you turn conflict into collaboration?

Using High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness collaboration techniques for conflict resolution can take time because you won’t agree with all the terms and conditions of the other party in one go. It will take some time for you to understand their perspective, and it may take them some time to agree with your points as well. However, using this technique increases the likelihood of resolving conflicts in many cases.

Furthermore, it also showcases your maturity level, as it demonstrates that while you are advocating for your rights on the one hand, you are also willing to understand the concerns of others. Usually, before opting for this style, you already have an idea that a competing resolution style may not be an ideal approach for resolving the conflict as you don’t want to risk hampering relationships. Still, at the same time, you also emphasize that what you are advocating for is not morally incorrect.

So, if you have to listen to others to make your point, what’s the harm in it, after all? But, as I mentioned, it all varies from situation to situation. If the opposing party is not willing to listen to you at all, you may end up compromising to some extent while using this resolution style.

When to use the High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaboration style?

In my opinion, you should use High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness Collaboration resolution style when:

  • Both Sides are Cooperating: You are reasonably confident that the other party will also cooperate. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will keep cooperating, and your cooperation may turn into a compromise without you even realizing it.
  • Both Value Relationships: Secondly, when you have a sense that the other party also values the relationship as much as you do and is looking for a middle ground to peacefully handle the situation without harming the relationship.
  • Morally Justified: When you know that you are morally correct, and you are not fighting for something irrelevant. This perspective should not be one-sided, but rather also from those who want the best for both parties.
  • There is no room for Compromise: If you are fighting for something that cannot be compromised upon, then using this style can be a good approach as you’re not willing to compromise on your needs. It’s essentially saying, “I am willing to listen, and I hope you will listen to me as well.”
  • Patience and Trust:  When you don’t want to rush into a decision and have trust that the other person will slowly but steadily understand your concerns and work towards addressing them peacefully.

Also let me know in the comments section When you think using the High Assertiveness and High Cooperativeness collaboration technique can be an ideal approach to achieve conflict resolution.

Collaborating Conflict Resolution Style – The Story of Us, 1999


To conclude, the Collaborating conflict style is characterized by high assertiveness and high cooperativeness behavior, where you assert your needs firmly but at the same time, you are highly cooperative giving importance to others’ concerns as well.

I have explained this technique briefly with an example drawn from my personal experience and also explained the characteristics and importance of this style. It’s a powerful technique when used judiciously and leads to effective conflict resolution in the long term.  It fosters a win-win situation for everyone and is useful when compromise isn’t an option for both parties. It values the importance of listening to others while taking the stance for the rights of self.

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