TKI Thomas Kilmann Conflict Overview of the TKI

How do you handle conflict? The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is the world’s best-selling instrument for understanding how different conflict-handling modes or styles affect personal and group dynamics and for learning how to select the most appropriate style for a given situation.

You read 30 pairs of statements and choose which of statement A or B is most typical of your behaviour.

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There are five conflict-handling modes based on two underlying dimensions: assertiveness and cooperativeness. Assertiveness is the degree to which you try to satisfy your own concerns. Cooperativeness is the degree to which you try to satisfy the other person’s concerns.

The 5 modes are:

  • Competing – this is high assertive and low cooperative. You try to satisfy your own concerns at the expense of the other person’s.
  • Collaborating – this is high assertive and high cooperative. When collaborating you work with the other person to find a solution that satisfies both peoples concerns.
  • Compromising – this is intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. You try to find an acceptable solution that is mutually acceptable and fulfils the needs of both parties at least partially. It differs from collaborating in that some needs may need to be sacrificed in order to have others met.
  • Avoiding – this is low assertive and low cooperative. The conflict is not addressed and therefore you do not address either the needs of yourself or the other person.
  • Accommodating – this is low assertive and high cooperative. It is the opposite of competing; it means neglecting your own concerns to satisfy those of another person.

Who should take the TKI?

If you would like to broaden your ways of dealing with conflict, to understand which approach you usually take, when it is useful and when others are more appropriate, then this is the assessment to take.

The TKI Report

The 10 page report describes the 5 different modes and provides you with a score on a 1 -12 scale. Your results are shown on a graph and compared against a norm group of 400 middle and senior managers in business and government organisations. The report then looks at the 5 different modes, explains how this mode is best used and then relates your score to the mode, identifying questions you might like to ask yourself.

See a sample report


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