|By Rhalden at Wikimedia Commons|
Here is the mission statement from Kilmann Diagnostics :
"KILMANN DIAGNOSTICS is an e-learning organization that's dedicated to resolving conflict throughout the world. We pursue this vital mission by providing a series of online courses and assessment tools that integrate the wisdom of conflict management and change management.
Based on Dr. Kilmann's four decades of research, teaching, and consulting experience, conflict and change are intertwined through a carefully orchestrated sequence of eight tracks for quantum transformation: cultures, skills, teams, strategy-structures, reward systems, and three process improvement tracks."
The TKI posits 5 conflict behavior styles: competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising and collaborating. These styles are determined by varying degrees of assertiveness or cooperativeness which you assign to pairs of statements on a test.
Simply put, when we are in conflict with others we attempt to satisfy our own needs, and/or the needs of the other, to varying degrees. No one handles conflict the same way every day, but most of us have an overall pattern. The TKI tries to identify your particular "go-to" pattern.
Conflict is essential to a good story. Perfect relationships put me to sleep. They never, ever fight? Quarrels are resolved in two minutes with a kiss and "honey, I love you"? Oh come on.
Characters who are unceasing jackasses also bore me. No one is a jerk 100% of the time. (I know someone will point out that I'm wrong in the comments section. Just don't use names, please.)
Use minor conflicts to round out your characters. How do they handle a snarky teenager, an irritating neighbor, an interfering co-worker, a tailgater on the freeway? Conflict, by the way, is a golden opportunity to utilize humor and wit in your writing.
Have you ever had a quarrel or heated argument, gone home and spent the next two hours conjuring up all of the brilliant retorts and barbs that you couldn't think of at the time?