Shock and confusion were the first feelings that I felt when I received my results from the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI). I immediately knew that these results did not address the preference in which I manage conflict. I quickly spoke with my professor to tell her that my scores from the TKI were inaccurate; the results were either mixed up with one of my classmates or I just had not answered the questions honestly. I then took a moment to reflect on the results: Compromising 87%, Accommodating 62%, Avoiding 49%, Competing 44%, and Collaborating 15%. As I reflected on these percentile scores, I then began to wonder if these scores had a correlation to the Myers Briggs where my preferences were reported as ISTP.
During my time of reflection, the high score of compromising on the TKI manifests in my actions because I have no problem with agreeing to move meetings or discussions along. Most months during deacon’s meetings at my church instead of pushing the group to be more active and assertive in leading the church, I sit back and allow the team to be dysfunctional. In an earlier post, I identified my behavior as being respectful to my elders, but I now see this as compromising, which, according to the TKI, is my preferred mode of handling conflict. While reflecting, the management style of compromising is seen in many aspects of my current leadership. This reflection helped to move the shock value associated with my initial feelings but opened the lens to how I tend to work through situations.
As an introvert, I tend to be content working on projects alone and do not need teams or groups around. When working on teams, I like to hurry to complete the product, so the time together is not extended because that time tends to be very draining. Those feelings can be observed when working through conflict, and the connection is clear to my low score in the area of collaboration. While I do not mind collaborating and teaming it is not always my preferred mode when working through conflict.
When applying conflict management styles to my church team, I see a lot of avoidance. Avoidance is seen within the group when members do not express their feelings, when tasks are not completed, and when members sit back and wait for others to produce. In order to move this dysfunctional team forward, reframing must happen. This team requires courageous conversations. These conversations must be had to discuss how conflict is currently being managed, and members must be encouraged to speak up in important situations, take problems head-on instead of avoiding, and learn to collaborate and work with one another.
Thomas, K.W. & Kilmann, R.H. (1974). Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Retrieved from https://Elevate.themyersbriggs.com/Respondent/ReturningUser?tokenId=f02100a0-8c9b-e911-80bf-000d3a3243bb