TKI test: Know when to Compromise using The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument test

Jonathan Bollag, Owner and FounderAssessments, Careers, Team Culture, TKI

Conflict Management Image - Two groups playing "Tug-o'-War"In December we gave you a blog providing an overview of the TKI test. In March we discussed The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument test and how being an efficient manager using competing and collaborating styles can improve your conflict management skills. In this blog post we will discuss The Comprising Thomas-Kilman Conflict-Handling Mode.

There are five conflict-handling styles and all are important and should be used at optimum times. The secret to being a successful negotiator and conflict manager is to know when to use which conflict-handling Mode.

The five conflict handling modes (styles) are:

  • Competing
  • Collaborating
  • Compromising
  • Avoiding
  • Accommodating

The text Introduction to Conflict Management authored by Kenneth Thomas states that one should compromise on significant issues when competing and collaborating are not practical (CPP, 2002). As you can imagine, compromising, avoiding and accommodating are quite different from one another. Depending on which management style you choose to use at the opportune moment will either improve or negatively affect your negotiated outcome. Choosing the correct style can also affect the process it takes to get there in either a positive or negative manner, which can affect relationships and business associations along the way as well as team and employee morale.

When compromising, we have to give something up in order to receive a partial reward. Situations in which The Compromising Mode should be used include:

  • When two parties with the same amount of influence are confronted with an all-or- nothing or win-lose situation

In this situation, both sides are not in a position where they must give all to the other party as they share power and therefore a compromise is in order and should be implemented as to change the reward outcome to appease both sides.

  • When a short-term resolution is necessary to solve a complicated issue

When under time-pressure and confronted with a complicated issue we must agree to disagree and compromise.

  • When more direct and conflict raising modes would negatively affect the associations involved

At times, we all have to give in for the sake of preserving relations with others, and the same rule exists in a business setting. When there is too much sensitivity between parties it is best to compromise and save the association and relationship that exist between the two parties.

  • When competing and collaborating have failed

When you have attempted to compete to gain as much as you can and have failed, and have attempted to collaborate with the other party involved, though to no avail, it is best to compromise. Give a little of your end result away and gain what you can through compromising. It is not a defeat, compromising can be a win-win situation, though not a winner takes all. When compromising, you do not need to give it all away. You just need to give some to gain some and this is the basis of the compromising position. 

 Completing The Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument Assessment (TKI test) can greatly increase your chances of success when handling conflict in the workplace as well as on a personal level.  Your TKI test results will show you which Conflict Handling Modes you use most from Accommodating to Collaborating. It can also show you which conflict styles you use in the kinds of conflicts you face. Your TKI test results explain each of your five conflict modes in detail from your most used, to your least in detail. It explains the uses of each style as well as the contributions of each among other tips such as questions to ask yourself such as when you are overusing or under using the handling styles.

To find out more about The Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument Assessment, or to complete and purchase this assessment, click on the link: The Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument or visit our Career Assessment Page and scroll down to The Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument and click Add To Cart!

 Remember to Achieve and Acquire Personal and Professional Success Each and Everyday!