Thomas-Kilman’s 5 Modes of Handling Conflict

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A brief explanation of each of Thomas-Kilman’s 5 modes of handling conflict, with an example of situations in which each style would be appropriately used are: i. The competing mode; this is more of an ‘I win-you lose’ situation. It is also where high assertive and low or uncooperative behaviour comes into play. One person has a high interest in the outcome of the given situation as he seeks to pursue his own concerns. He goes into a power-oriented mode, and uses whatever tactic he deems necessary and appropriate to win his position, he may stand up for his rights or defend a position believing it to be correct. It’s important that he win. This person is not necessarily bothered about the relationship or the other person’s views. Example of a competing situation: John and Harry both like playing football and cricket. However, John being older is a stronger football player than a cricket player. Harry a bit younger is not very strong in either sport but loves playing cricket more than football. One day they both invited to play at a sporting event where both sports will be played. A conflict arose. John, being older wanted Harry and himself to take part in football, whereas Harry wanted them both to play cricket. A quarrel took place and both boys trying to get their point across. Eventually John won. His strategy was simple he used the fact that Harry is not strong in either sport and therefore may not contribute to the cricket team winning. John being a very good football player used that piece of information to convince Harry to play football as he could 90% guarantee winning the game. Harry took John’s word seeing power in what was being said and played football. ii. The accommodating mode; this is the opposite of the competing mode. It’s all about maintaining the relationship. Cooperation is on a higher level than assertiveness. Even though the

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