01 Jun An Overview of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) A long-term collaboration by
Kenneth W. Thomas and
Ralph H. Kilmann
Learn all about the renowned Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI assessment) directly from the person who co-created it: Dr. Ralph H. Kilmann! All his scientific research, online courses, and TKI certifications are available on this website.
Our TKI Options
One TKI Assessment
The TKI allows you to discover whether you might be overusing or underusing one or more of five conflict-handling modes (collaborating, competing, compromising, accommodating, and avoiding), so you can improve how you manage conflict in the future!
Two TKI Assessments
By taking one TKI specifically for INSIDE your group and another TKI for OUTSIDE your group, you’ll discover how your leader, the culture, and the reward system might be having undue influence on how conflict is being managed in your group or team.
Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann (August 2015):
“The Joy of Having Created the TKI Assessment!”
Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. The TKI is an online assessment that takes about fifteen minutes to complete. Interpretation and feedback materials help you learn about the most appropriate uses for each conflict-handling mode.
The TKI has been the leader in conflict resolution assessment for more than forty years. This instrument requires no special qualifications for administration. It is used by Human Resources (HR) and Organizational Development (OD) consultants as a catalyst to open discussions on difficult issues and facilitate learning about how conflict-handling modes affect personal, group, and organizational dynamics. The TKI is also extensively used by mediators, negotiators, and many practitioners in the coaching profession (executive coaches, career coaches, business coaches, life coaches, etc.).
More than 8,000,000 copies of the TKI have been published since 1974. Besides its native English language, the TKI is also available in several other languges: Spanish (European and Latin American), French, Portuguese (Brazilian), Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Russian, German, Italian, and Chinese (traditional and simplified).
The TKI is designed to measure a person’s behavior in conflict situations. “Conflict situations” are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, we can describe an individual’s behavior along two dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns.
These two basic dimensions of behavior define five different modes for responding to conflict situations:
- Competing is assertive and uncooperative—an individual pursues his own concerns at the other person’s expense. This is a power-oriented mode in which you use whatever power seems appropriate to win your own position—your ability to argue, your rank, or economic sanctions. Competing means “standing up for your rights,” defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.
- Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of competing. When accommodating, the individual neglects his own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode. Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, obeying another person’s order when you would prefer not to, or yielding to another’s point of view.
- Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative—the person neither pursues his own concerns nor those of the other individual. Thus he does not deal with the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation.
- Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative—the complete opposite of avoiding. Collaborating involves an attempt to work with others to find some solution that fully satisfies their concerns. It means digging into an issue to pinpoint the underlying needs and wants of the two individuals. Collaborating between two persons might take the form of exploring a disagreement to learn from each other’s insights or trying to find a creative solution to an interpersonal problem.
- Compromising is moderate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. The objective is to find some expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. It falls intermediate between competing and accommodating. Compromising gives up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but does not explore it in as much depth as collaborating. In some situations, compromising might mean splitting the difference between the two positions, exchanging concessions, or seeking a quick middle-ground solution.
Each of us is capable of using all five conflict-handling modes. None of us can be characterized as having a single style of dealing with conflict. But certain people use some modes better than others and, therefore, tend to rely on those modes more heavily than others—whether because of temperament or practice.
Your conflict behavior in the workplace is therefore a result of both your personal predispositions and the requirements of the situation in which you find yourself. The TKI is designed to measure this mix of conflict-handling modes.
DISCOVER THE FULL
POTENTIAL OF THE
During our 80-minute BASIC Training in Conflict Management, not only will Dr. Kilmann help you interpret your TKI results, but you’ll also learn how to interpret other people’s results. You’ll gain the most value-added knowledge from your TKI assessment by deeply understanding the five modes, their two underlying dimensions (assertiveness and cooperativeness), and the three diagonal dimensions on the TKI Conflict Model.
DISCOVER THE FULL
POTENTIAL OF TAKING
2 TKI ASSESSMENTS
During our 3-hour GROUP Training in Conflict Management, Dr. Kilmann will explain how to develop Group TKI Profiles, which are based on each member’s response to two TKIs, each with modified instructions, regarding their conflict-handling behavior: (1) INSIDE their group and (2) OUTSIDE their group (in all other settings in their life). Dr. Kilmann then interprets a number of very different Group TKI Profiles, which brings them to life.