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Self Assessment of Conflict Management Styles

by Cassandra Noel

Many personality measurement tools and assessments allow you to discover more about yourself. Among these are assessments to evaluate your conflict management style. Businesses commonly administer these conflict management assessments to educate their personnel and aid in a more congenial and effective workplace. By taking a conflict management assessment, you can gain a better understanding of how you operate in your daily life and how this affects your relationships in both personal and professional realms.

Conflict Management Styles

There are five generally acknowledged styles for dealing with conflict: compromising, avoiding, integrating, dominating and obliging. Those whose style is compromising tend to be "middle of the road" in their conflict management. They want both parties to gain some, but both will also need to give a little as well. Those who avoid, as their style suggests, simply leave the conflict altogether. Integrators tend to be open to others' differences and try to come to an understanding that satisfies both parties. Those who dominate are primarily concerned with their own desires and do not readily compromise, while those who oblige are willing to give up what they want to make everyone happy.

Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory

The Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II is a popular conflict management style assessment. The Rahim Inventory takes into account that a person's conflict management style may vary according to whether they are interacting with a subordinate, a peer or a supervisor. For each of the five conflict management styles, it states the dominance of either a high or low concern for self and a high or low concern for others.

The Five Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence

Studies find that there are correlations between certain conflict management styles and one or more of the five dimensions of emotional intelligence. The five dimensions of emotional intelligence are: empathy, social skills, self-regulation, motivation and self-awareness. In one study by M. Afzalur Rahim and others, two conflict management styles were examined: problem-solving strategy and bargaining strategy. Problem-solving strategy was positively associated with motivation (and motivation was positively associated with social skills and empathy), while bargaining strategy was negatively associated with motivation.

Applying your self-assessment in daily life

Productively dealing with conflict can help your relationships.

Once you have figured out what your dominant conflict management styles are, you can learn how to magnify the positive aspects and work to improve any that do not result in a productive outcome. The first step is simply being aware. After that, watch for trends. Once you have identified the areas you want to change, develop a plan of action. Write it down, and when a problem comes up, think back to what you wrote.

About the Author

Cassandra Montgomery started writing freelance in 2011. Her chief interests are music and the arts, psychology, fitness and health, and personal and professional development. She has a Bachelor of Arts in music with a minor in classical studies from Hillsdale College and a Master of Music Education in string pedagogy from Indiana University-Bloomington.

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