Worst conflict of two

I know this question has been asked previously and i did a search on pmzilla but could not find a convincing answer.

Which conflict technique has the least result ? Is it forcing or withdrawing ? Some books say forcing and some sites say withdrawing, pmbook has no preference. If a question is asked on test, which is the best to answer ?

PMBOK will never give anything that is purely debatable in nature. Hypothetical question will have hypothetical answer. Your question is same as, “Which is important organ for you, legs or hands?”

Since you have asked for it, I would give you my logic here unlike other PMP books authors.

Withdraw – is giving up. When you give up, it’s the project that has the loss, forget about relationship and your image among the members. Giving up is same as showing you don’t have strength and you are weak. In Hindi we say “Karo ya maro” i.e. do or die, right? Withdraw is accepting death without doing and digging into.

Forcing – I see no harm in forcing provided you are forcing to follow best practices, forcing to follow company process, forcing to follow quality plans etc. As long as forcing is for genuine with justified reason for the benefit of the project, I see no harm in that.

Here is my verdict, out of the two choices, I would choose “Withdraw” as the worst conflict resolution techniques.

I again say, PMBOK does not give any such example, because they believe in situation i.e. as per the given situation what is the best option. Your question is a direct one without situation and honestly, it should not have any fix answer.

Saket, PMP


Yes you are right Shweta. I also have confornted in many questions and on this questions too like you.

There are many such questions which vary with auther to auther but PMBOK says differently.


Ist line of PMBOK p 240/271  clearly tells these resolutions are situation based, and they are not given in any order.

And PMP Exam follow PMBOK first then next -- so I believe and assure to all too that such question are not asked in test ever.

Second example is

Types of different % age estimates. PMBOK never provoke or follow any 4 types % accuracy based estimates. Her verdicts are different. p168/199 = estimate from +/-50%  could nerrow to+/-10%.

like sources of conflicts 

schedule is biggest cause.--- as per RITA and other many.

But PMBOK does not rank .

Also I do not believe on RITA flow chart (its my personal opinion and belief- I do not pose to any one)

PMBOK does advocate any closing sequence ever,

Even RDS suggests or rejects, Exam  follows first PMBOK current edition then next.







Thanks Saket and Pawarji.

admin's picture

Saket's explaination gives a very good perspective, but it has to be evaluated in the light of situation. Sometimes Withdrawing from a conflict can be positive too.

Hi Shweta,

I agree with Admin and with Mr.Saket to cetain extent.

The method "Withdrawing" may not necessarily mean "Giving up". You can chose to Withdraw in cases when a issue is very small and you feel its not worth the effort, or you may have more priority issues than the one in question. Also you may withdraw because other person is using "Forcing"

While, "Forcing" may negatively affect your relation with the person(s) involved in conflict.  This may be used ,generally, only in the times when there is a need for quick decesion due to time constraints or due to life threatining situations like in some aircraft crashing situation where using "Force" decesion is justified or in cases where there is no other option left

In the Context of HR Management, in a project/business scenario, since team cohesion is important and subtle human relations comes into picture, "Forcing" may be considered as the Last prefered technique as it may affect the relation negatively.

Hope this helps.

Anand KL, PMP