How Do You Handle Conflict?

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Conflict is a fact of life in today’s modern workplace. And, it can be difficult to recognize when you are part of the difficulty. These behavioral “blocks” can indicate where you need to improve your conflict management skills. In each block below, check all of the approaches that describe how you would handle similar situations when a challenge is involved: 

BLOCK I: Rigid Behavior 

_____ I become so comitted to my views that I have trouble knowing when to give in. 

_____ I don’t take the time to draw out the opinions of others. 

_____ It’s difficult for me to admit when I am wrong. 

BLOCK II: Passive Behavior 

_____ At meetings, I don’t interrupt if someone is monopolizing the discussion. 

_____ I’m willing to forgo my positions to keep a harmonious relationship. 

_____ Others often disregard my views without giving them the consideration they deserve. 

BLOCK III: Intrusive Behavior 

_____ I tend to take charge, even when it’s not my responsibility to do so. 

_____ The best way to get things done the way I want is to do them myself. 

_____ I like to be personally involved, even if it’s not necessary to the task at hand. 

BLOCK IV: Detached Behavior 

_____ I avoid confrontations that are likely to be emotionally charged. 

_____ I avoid getting personally involved if I can delegate the responsibility. 

_____ Even when others share their opinions, I keep my thoughts to myself. 

If you checked two or more items for any block, you may have picked up a troublesome style along the way. Blocks are usually based on childhood experiences and social conditioning. For example, you may have learned to sidestep differences by expressing what is tactful rather than what is truthful. Or you may have heard, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, to develop a fuller range of functioning, you must detect and re-examine those deeply-etched messages from your past.