Most employees spend 2 hours a week, that’s one whole day a month, dealing with conflict in the workplace – that could be the involvement in a disagreement or managing conflict between coworkers.
Common causes of conflict at work include differing goals, perceptions, personal styles or values. Conflict is not limited to large disagreements or arguments. It can be caused by what appear to be simple processes like assigning tasks and decision making. A lot of times poor communication is the culprit.
Conflict style assessments help develop awareness of self and others facilitating:
Conflict management tools, such as the Thomas-Kilmann (TKI) and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, are an effective starting point for addressing differences between people and their preferred methods for communication, approaching disagreements and decisions.
The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) has been used successfully for more than 30 years to help individuals understand how different individual styles affect personal and group dynamics. The TKI measures five “conflict-handling modes” or approaches to dealing with conflict at work:
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) tool is a personality assessment that reports preferences on four different dichotomies:
Two of the dichotomies play a large role in how an individual prefers to approach conflict, which makes the Myers-Briggs assessment a useful tool to use when resolving conflict in the workplace.
Thinking and Feeling look at where a person focuses in conflict. People with a Thinking preference tend to maintain a firm stance and focus on what the conflict is about, principles, opinions, analyzing and tolerating differences. Individuals with a preference for Feeling lean towards a give and take approach, that examines needs and values, and considers who is involved.
How a person responds to conflict at work or at home is influenced by the Judging and Perceiving dichotomy. People with a preference for Judging look for resolution, experience satisfaction once the conflict is done, and are primarily concerned with the outcome. Individuals with a preference for Perceiving focus on the here and now and experience satisfaction once the conflict is being addressed.
It is useful for teams to not only understand their own personal preferences. To effectively address conflict in the workplace, individual’s need to understand the needs of others and that is the value of using assessments in the workplace as part of your organization’s conflict management process.
If you're unsure what conflict resolution tools are right for your organization, contact psychometrics today. Our experienced team will be happy to answer any questions and walk you through the process.
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