7:15 p.m. Tuesday 16 May 2017 – Chemainus, BC

The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory https://asicalstatela.org/sites/default/files/content/upload/2016/07/conflict-survey.pdf

The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory (KCSI) was developed by Ron Kraybill, then director of Mennonite Conciliation Service, based in Akron, Pennsylvania in the 1980s. Like the widely-used Thomas Kilmann Inventory (TKI), it identifies five styles of responding to conflict:

How are we when we find ourselves in conflict?

There are five styles from which we tend to choose in response to conflict:

1. Avoiding – seek to get away from any conflict

positively – this can de-escalate tension, preserve relationships, and be a benefit when things are dangerous.

negatively – doesn’t solve anything. Things may simmer away forever. Resentment can build

2. Accommodating – will engage but relationship is the primary focus

positively – can smooth things over when the relationship is more important than the issue. Keeps the possibility of conversation open

negatively – no one ever really gets their needs met

3. Compromising – give and take

positively – everyone wins a little bit

negatively – everybody loses. There is not much sense of satisfaction.

4. Forcing/Directing – make your point known and move forward

positively – gets things done and is good in an emergency

negatively – people get trampled underfoot, there can be collateral damage, people feel unheard

5. Collaborating – working together

positvely – everyone working together preservers relationships. Works over the long haul.

negatively – exhausting, takes time, may lose people along the way who give up in frustration

You need to use all five styles.

It is good to inquire where yo got your preferred style from. Probably arose from a variety of sources: culture, gender, religious culture, parental and familial background. Each style has its particular skill set. You can learn the skills of a style that is not naturally yours. Depending on context, one style may be more useful than another. Good to be able to move between styles as the situation requires.

There can be a cost to over-using, or under-using a particular style in a given situation.


me: through a series of 20 statements which the participant is asked to rate on a scale from “Not at all characteristic…” to “Very characteristic…” a tally develops showing how a person tends to respond to conflict when it is relatively calm and then how the response may change as the conflict escalates into a storm.

No one style is necessarily right all the time in every situation. The styles are context-specific. As was pointed out, one style may be right in a particular situation, but a different style may be called for in a different context. Or, one style may be helpful at a particular point in a given conflict, while another style becomes more useful as the conflict shifts and changes.

As with every part of this discussion, context is essential. Every discussion of conflict changes depending upon the kind of conflict under discussion, the role a particular person is called upon to fulfill in a given conflict situation, the skills participants in the conflict bring to the table, and the particular personality traits of each person involved.

How do I learn to become more proficient in the skills of a “conflict style” that may not be my natural means of responding in a situation?

How do I discern what might be the most effective style to use in a particular conflict situation?