Most of us started learning patterns for addressing conflict as small children. What responses to conflict did you observe as you watched your parents or other adults? How did you respond to conflict with your siblings, your parents, and your friends while you were growing up?
Awareness of current patterns of thought and behavior during conflict situations is the first step in changing any patterns that may not be serving you well. How are you responding to conflict with your boss, co-workers, team members, spouse, or teenager?
While there are many instruments that can help individuals identify conflict styles and behaviors, we prefer using the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP):
- The CDP-Individual – Known as the CDP-I, this is a self-assessment. It provides extremely useful information about the frequency with which a person uses 7 Constructive Responses to conflict and 8 Destructive Responses to conflict. The CDP-I also reveals 9 potential “Hot Buttons” that can trigger Destructive Responses to conflict. The CDP-I takes about 20 minutes to complete. It is an invaluable coaching tool because it gives both your coach and you a “language” to discuss how you handle conflict.
For a sample CDP-I report, click here.
- The CDP-360 – The CDP 360 is a self-assessment, as well as a 360 Feedback assessment, meaning that you evaluate your own conflict skills (the same as in the CDP-I), and other respondents also give you feedback on your conflict skills. Your 360 respondents complete the same Conflict Dynamics Profile questions as you complete. The CDP-360 also takes about 20 minutes for you to complete and for each of your respondents to complete. It produces a comprehensive report, describing not only how you perceive your responses to conflict (constructive or negative), but how your 360 respondents perceive your responses to conflict. The CDP 360 report can be an eye-opener! You may be surprised to find that your respondents perceive the way in which you manage conflict either more positively or more negatively than you perceive that you manage conflict.
For a sample CDP-360 report, click here.
Examples of the 7 Constructive Responses to conflict include:
- Perspective Taking – putting yourself in another person’s position and attempting to understand that person’s point of view
- Reaching Out – making the first move and trying to make amends
- Creating Solutions – exploring ways to resolve a conflict
Examples of the 8 Destructive Responses to conflict include:
- Demeaning Others – laughing at the other person, using sarcasm
- Retaliating – trying to get revenge
- Displaying Anger – lashing out, using angry words
Examples of the 9 Hot Buttons include:
- Being Micro-Managed – behaviors shown by people who constantly monitor or check up on others
- Untrustworthy Behavior – behaviors shown by people who exploit others, take undeserved credit, etc.
We use the Conflict Dynamics Profile with individual coaching clients and for team building processes. We have found that it creates a very healthy dialogue about problematic conflict behaviors both in one’s personal life and at the workplace. The Conflict Dynamics Profile assessment is beneficial only if you make an Action Plan to increase the extent to which you use Constructive Responses to conflict and decrease the extent to which you use Destructive Responses to conflict.
One of our clients wrote to say that he revisits his CDP results two or three times each year to help him “calibrate” whether he has made sustainable changes in the way that he approaches conflict. These reminders have helped him to prevent the natural tendency to fall back into old habits that did not serve him well in the past.
To schedule a CDP-I or CDP-360 assessment, please contact us.