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Managing conflicts begins with being aware of your Conflict Behaviors


The European Workplace Institute (IWD),  the European vendor of the Conflict Dynamics Profile® assessment method and the Becoming Conflict Competent course.


Our Institute consult with organizations internationally to help them explore ways to improve their approach to conflict management and resolution, and provides people with self-awareness about their responses to conflict, aiming at better Workplace interactions and at improving wellbeing

Conflict refers to some form of friction, disagreement, or discord arising within a group when the beliefs or actions of one of more members of the group are either resisted by or

unacceptable to one or more members of another group.

Conflict is an escalation of a disagreement, which is its common prerequisite, and is characterized by the existence of conflict behaviors, in which the beings are actively trying to damage one another.

Conflicts can occur between individuals, groups and organizations

Conflict can arise between members of the same group, known as intragroup conflict

or it can occur between members of two or more groups, and involve violence, interpersonal discord, and psychological tension, known as intergroup conflict.

Conflict in groups often follows a specific course.

Routine  group interaction is first disrupted by an initial conflict, often caused by differences of opinion, disagreements between members, or scarcity of resources.

At this point, the group is no longer united, and may split into coalitions.

Conflict is rarely seen as constructive; however, in certain contexts (such as competition in sports), moderate levels of conflict can be seen as being mutually beneficial, facilitating understanding, tolerance, learning, and effectiveness.

Sophia Jowett differentiates between content conflict, where individuals disagree about how to deal with a certain issue, and relational conflict, where individuals disagree about one another, noting that the content conflict can be beneficial, increasing motivation and stimulating discussion, whereas the relational conflicts decreases performance, loyalty, satisfaction, and commitment, and causes individuals to be irritable, negative and suspicious.

Irving Janis proposed that conflict is beneficial in groups and committees to avoid the error of “group think“.

Jehn and Mannix have proposed a division of conflicts into three types: relationship, task, and process.

Relationship conflict stems from interpersonal incompatibilities; task conflict is related to disagreements in viewpoints and opinion about a particular task and process conflict refers to disagreement over the group’s approach to the task, its methods, and its group process.

They note that although relationship conflict and process conflict are harmful, task conflict is found to be beneficial since it encourages diversity of opinions, although care should be taken so it does not develop into process or relationship conflict.


Amason and Sapienza in turn differentiate between affective and cognitive conflict, where cognitive conflict is task-oriented and arises from differences in perspective or judgement, and affective conflict is emotional and arises from personal differences and disputes.


Unresolved workplace conflicts can cost an organization a great deal of time and money. They inhibit actions and hamper innovations and drain energies

Wasted management time, absenteeism, lowered employee retention, medical claims, grievances, lawsuits and workplace violence can all be aggravated by ineffective conflict management efforts. As such comprehension and examination of the topic “conflict” should be integral part of organizational and people development objectives.

Conflicts are inevitable yet, they represent the most underestimated expenses in companies. Conflict costs are measurable. Based on the latest credible surveys, 85% of leaders are involved in conflict on a regular basis and managers spend 30 to 40 percent of their time in dealing with conflict in the workplace.

Conflict can sap your organization’s energy and diminish profits – and no one is immune. Whether you are a team leader, a manager or a member of your organization’s leadership team, the ability to handle difficult situations constructively is critical to business success and represent a strategic business advantage.

 The Conflict Dynamics Profile CDP, was developed, to prevent harmful conflict in the workplace; it provides managers and employees with a greater awareness of how they respond when faced with conflict so that they can improve on those behaviors causing the most problems

The CDP focus on conflict behaviors, rather than styles, emphasizes an action oriented approach which lessens the problems associated with harmful or unproductive from of conflict and results in more effective conflict management skills

These innovative, powerful assessment instrument and competence model help leaders, managers and employees better deal with conflict behaviors with an organizational and developmental perspective.

Based on the CDP diagnostic instruments (CDP-Individual and CDP 360) we provide audits and evaluations of conflict competence in different conflict phases and under consideration of cultural aspects. The result are described in detail in the CDP Feedback Report and provided during a personal feedback session with a certified CDP Coach.

At this feedback step, an aligned individual development plan will be defined for improvement and execution. The two instruments can be effectively combined in organizations. Since both instruments are based on the same model and use the same vocabulary, people are able to communicate more effectively with each other.

Improving self awareness about what triggers conflict and learning how you respond to conflict is central to better workplace interactions and peace at work.

The first step in any journey is to know where you are right now, and the Conflict Dynamics Profile® provides you with that knowledge.

The benefits of effective conflict management

Reduce costs

▪ Make better business decisions

▪ Implement initiatives more effectively

▪ Achieve substantial return on investment

Increase productivity

▪ Reduce absenteeism and “presenteeism”

▪ Improve the quality of decision making under stress

▪ Foster an environment of creative innovation

Retain your top performers

▪ Strengthen supervisor and peer relationships

▪ Keep your teams engaged and openly communicating

▪ Give your people the power to make a positive difference

Manage risk

▪ Prevent stress and violence, sabotage and vandalism

▪ Mitigate legal risks and social wide implications

▪ Manage better public perception of your organization’s brand

The Conflict Competence Model

Develop your conflict competence

There are 2 versions of the CDP; the CDP-Individual (CDP-I), and the CDP-360

The CDP-I is a self report (it looks how you view yourself), whereas the CDP-360 is a full spectrum tool which gives not only your self view but also delineates feedback from bosses, peers, and direct reports…

The CDP-360 produces a complete “Conflict Profile” by providing feedback on

  • What provokes an individual
  • How an individual perceives the way he or she typically responds to conflict
  • How others view the individual responding to conflict
  • How the individual responds before, during and after conflict
  • Which behaviors harm one’s position in a particular organization

Easy to use, quickly completed in 20/25 min the CDP can be used for professionals of all levels and is applicable for all types of organizations

Flexible, the CDP can be used within the context of an existing training program, &s part of a custom program, as a stand alone assessment for an individual or group of employees or as part of a coaching intervention

Psychometrically sound, the CDP shows solid evidence of reliability and validity and has been normed against a variety of organizations

The CDP highlights the following 15 behaviors or scales and 9 hot buttons

Active & passive constructive

-         perspective taking

-         reflective thinking

-         creating solutions

-         delay responding

-         expressing emotions

-         adapting

-         reaching out

Active & passive destructive

-         winning at all costs

-         avoiding

-         displaying anger

-         demeaning others

-         yielding

-         hiding emotions

-         retaliating

-         self-criticizing


The hot buttons

By learning something about the situations in which you are most likely to feel upset you can better address conflicts in the future

The Hot buttons profile

This profile presents information regarding the kinds of situations and individuals that you find most annoying and thus are most likely to provoke conflict; in short your hot buttons

By learning something about the situations in which you are most likely to feel upset you can better address conflicts in the future

Group feedback report

Group feedback reports are available for organizations that want composite data for a number of individuals

Used for a variety of reasons everything from diagnosing conflict issues as part of a team intervention to assessing an entire company’s needs for further skill building training group, group report profiles are especially valuable in examining an organization’s conflict culture