Each sounds pretty awesome on their own, right? Lots of possibilities when you bring them together for future creation or problem solving. The perfect team could be detected, based upon some algorithm. Yeah, one of each and you’ve got Top Talent ready to change the world.
Now, turn it around a bit...think of these 'labels' or classifications as conflict types. Of how you and others act when exhibiting defensive, offensive, aggressive, passive aggressive behaviors? Of that place, where if you know you are mad enough, you will definitely go. This is not where you go when you are furious, this is where you go when you are a bit ticked off or pissed at the situation. Now, think of how these viewpoints or mindsets can also lead to blow-ups, misunderstandings or grudges.
Here are some common reactions when crossing each conflict style...
Now think of yourself,
- do you rage or cry or scream or need to move when you are in a confrontation …you are probably dominant for ‘emotional realness’ style?
- do you sugar coat, try to make everyone feel better, try to escape, move quickly past the problem...you are probably dominant for ‘positive outlook’ style?
- do you get bother when someone isn’t sticking to the known facts, is overly emotional, avoids harsh realities…you are probably dominant for ‘competence focus’ style
And little reminiscing, think about your last conflict, confrontation, challenging situation with someone…live or virtual? What was her/his style? Can you see a bit more clearly why you acted and reacted the way you did? And now how about from the other person’s perspective?
And go back through a few conflicts, are you starting to see a pattern form? Coming to the realization that dishing out these habitual reactions is not going to create resolve or collaboration?
Three things to bear in mind:
- This is a generalization. There are layer beyond layer of depth of understanding into one’s own and others’ personality.
- This is an over-simplification. Each individual acts in their own personal way.
- This is describing a habitual reaction; linked to point #2, you choose how to act or react. These are not fixed behaviors and you ultimately have a choice.
So why do you want to know your own or those you (love, live with, work with, deal with, parent, counsel)’s conflict style? A myriad and possibly infinite number of reasons...in a nutshell, here are a few I believe to be somewhat universal...
- You can make more choiceful decisions.
- You can understand others’ perspective to a greater extent. Your empathy level increases.
- You can catch yourself when you are going down a slippery slope in a discussion, argument, email, and pro-actively and purposefully avert the conflict.
In the work world, the ability to have open dialogue within an organization or team moves beyond politics and forced structure into cooperative, mindful decision making; faster, more transparent and linked to real purposeful intent.