Conflict is simply the condition in which people’s concerns—the things they care about—appear to be incompatible. Conflict, then, is something
we face every day—a fact of life. Surveys show that managers spend about a quarter of their time handling conflicts. They have to negotiate over resources, handle disagreements over policies, deal with complaints, enforce rules, and manage the inevitable frictions and resentments that occur between people.
Many people make the mistake of equating conflict with fighting—arguing, blaming, name-calling, and so on. This makes conflict seem like a dangerous and destructive thing. However, once you recognize that conflict is simply a condition in which people’s concerns appear to be incompatible, it becomes clear that fight- ing is only one way of dealing with it. This approach allows us to recognize that we have choices in how we deal with conflict. It directs our attention to the ways we can control the conflict process through our choices, so that we can manage it constructively.
In the thirty years since the TKI’s inception, more than 4 million copies of the instrument have been sold and it has become the leading measure of conflict-handling behavior. It has also been used in hundreds of research studies.
Today the TKI is used in a wide variety of applications, including the following:
• Management and supervisory training
• Negotiation training
• Team building
• Crisis intervention