My Style in Conflict (part 1 of 2)

April 17, 2012 — Leave a comment

My personal style of responding to conflict seems to be primarily based in the Analyzing/Preserving and Affiliating/Perfecting categories according to the Friendly Style Profile (Gilmore & Fraleigh, 2004). Here are my scores:

  • Accommodating/Harmonizing – Calm at 22 and Storm at 25
  • Analyzing/Preserving – Calm at 28 and Storm at 27
  • Achieving/Directing – Calm at 24 and Storm at 21
  • Affiliating/Perfecting – Calm at 26 and Storm at 27

Conflict Among Others

Deducing which of these categories I fit into during conflict is difficult because I find a little bit of myself in all of them. As Dr Dunn stated, “The odds are that you will probably see a part of yourself in most of these qualities.”[1] I think my scores being evenly distributed is a relevant and true reflection on me. Who is involved in the conflict and where the conflict is at determine how I respond to the conflict. Since I am a calm and easy going person who is very relaxed it makes it hard for people to know how I might respond in a conflict situation. (At times, I am even surprised in how I respond.)

When it comes to conflict I think I am able to engage each category a little bit, even though I am primarily an Analyzer/Preserver and Affiliator/Perfector. Between these two categories, I believe I am the most like the Analyzing/Preserving person. This understanding of myself helps me effectively manage conflict. This past week Dr. Dunn taught us, “The more we understand ourselves, the more we can manage ourselves.”[2] Later in this post I will share more reasons of why I believe that to be true.

I definitely agree with my results showing that I have the same conflict styles in Analyzing/Preserving and Affiliating/Perfecting categories when in “calm” and “storm” conflict situations. I have noticed that I am very level headed no matter what happens good or bad. Whether I am meeting with a person one to one or I am leading 75 volunteers at a food drive, people observe that I am always calm, cool, collected, and that I am always under control. So I definitely agree that I have the same conflict style when I am navigating a calm or storm conflict. However, I slightly disagree with some of my results in the Friendly Style Profile because I feel many of the qualities in other categories also apply to me. Perhaps this is because I have scores that are close together in each of the four categories.

I see several patterns that I have when I respond to conflict.

  1. One of the patterns that I notice in how I respond to conflict is to withdraw. As an Analyzing/Preserving person, I naturally do not think very well on my feet, and often I need time to think through and process information. This means that when someone brings a confrontation to me that has new information, my natural response is to withdraw. I think that another reason I respond to conflict in this way is because I am a very introverted man who naturally tends to go inward when new information is presented to me.
  2. Another pattern I have in conflict is that I tend to get nervous to the point that other people notice it. Once when I was reporting to our Human Resources (HR) Manager at work about a conflict that I was just engaged in, I felt nervous but I did not realize that I looked nervous. While trying to tell her about the conflict, the HR Manager’s first response to me was, “That [what was said] really bothers you, doesn’t it?” implying that the HR Manager could clearly see that I was nervous about having to confront the other person about the conflict. This nervousness in conflict is displayed in two ways: 1) Before I am about to confront someone in conflict; and 2) When I am confronting the person or telling someone else about the confrontation they notice my nervousness.

Question: What do you think your style is in conflict?

[1] Larry Dunn, Ph.D., “Personal Styles in Conflict” (lecture, Fresno Pacific University-North Center Campus, Fresno, CA, December 15, 2011).

[2] Larry Dunn, Ph.D., “Personal Styles in Conflict” (lecture, Fresno Pacific University-North Center Campus, Fresno, CA, December 15, 2011).

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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