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Conflict Resolution Style: Thomas-Kilmann Assessment Essay

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Updated: May 1st, 2021


The use of leadership qualities in the workplace involves not only stimulating the activity of colleagues but also participating in conflict resolution. Appropriate strategies aimed at maintaining a favorable working microclimate allow achieving high-performance outcomes and avoiding misunderstandings in the team. Regardless of the type of conflict (interpersonal, group, and other forms), correct approaches should be followed by team leaders in order to prevent tense situations.

On the example of one of the recent conflicts that occurred in the workplace, it is possible to describe the importance of leadership measures with regard to the problem discussed. The outcomes of the disagreement were positive, which, nevertheless, cannot guarantee the absence of the repetition of a similar situation in the future. The role of the leader in resolving conflicts in the workplace is significant, and maintaining an appropriate style of work is to be an indispensable condition for labor activities.

Situation Description

Conflicts in the workplace always bring inconvenience to both its immediate participants and colleagues who are forced to engage in their activities in a tense atmosphere. The recent case is the proof of this statement, and almost all the members of the collective were involved in an unpleasant case. It was the misunderstanding that occurred between my two colleagues on the basis of disagreements in the performance of a specific task.

I happened to witness a nascent quarrel and call colleagues to order. Nevertheless, a consensus was not reached long, and both parties stood by their opinions. Despite the fact that only two members of the team sorted things out, all the staff was involved in their case since the further mode of work depending on the adoption of this or that decision. Some members of the group took the side of the initiator of the conflict, and some supported the other one. As a result, work was suspended, and serious tension was felt among colleagues.

This case cannot be considered an insignificant disagreement between two employees. According to Einarsen, Skogstad, Rørvik, Lande, and Nielsen (2018), “interpersonal conflict may come in the shape of isolated incidents” (p. 553). However, in this context, different participants were involved, which necessitated the search for appropriate resolution strategies. I managed to talk to both sides and find out the reasons for their discontent. If I had not done it, it is likely that the consequences of misunderstanding would have been alarming, and significant challenges would have been observed in the process of work.

Thomas-Kilmann Assessment in Relation to the Conflict

When evaluating the degree of conflict and its possible consequences, it is possible to pay attention to those current theoretical concepts that are relevant to this topic. In particular, the Thomas-Kilmann assessment submitted by Riasi and Asadzadeh (2015) may allow describing the correctness of actions to eliminate misunderstanding. This approach provides for five possible resolution modes, and I resorted to the help of a collaborating style that involved satisfying the requirements of both parties for the sake of a common goal (Riasi & Asadzadeh, 2015). This method of reconciliation made it possible to take into account the opinions of two opposing colleagues and to satisfy their ideas partially, which satisfied each of them.

Conflict Outcomes

In the end, the situation was resolved safely, and both conflicting parties came to an agreement. We decided to take into account the position of each of our colleagues and introduce some actions that they proposed. In many respects, a successful outcome was ensured by the timely resolution of misunderstanding; otherwise, the employees could struggle for a long time, which would have a negative impact on the results of work. The application of the concept of collaboration has become a successful and valuable measure in addressing this issue.


Maintaining the appropriate style of conflict resolution in the workplace is a valuable leadership feature that should be promoted to achieve high-performance results. The application of a collaborative pattern as one of the modes of misunderstanding control allows meeting the needs of opposing sides and avoiding dangerous consequences. Timely intervention in interpersonal conflict is an obligatory measure since even in case of disagreement between two participants, the interests of other people may be affected, which is unacceptable in the workplace.


Einarsen, S., Skogstad, A., Rørvik, E., Lande, Å. B., & Nielsen, M. B. (2018). Climate for conflict management, exposure to workplace bullying and work engagement: A moderated mediation analysis. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(3), 549-570. Web.

Riasi, A., & Asadzadeh, N. (2015). The relationship between principals’ reward power and their conflict management styles based on Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument. Management Science Letters, 5(6), 611-618. Web.

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