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Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

Understanding conflict resolution styles

The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI® assessment) is the world’s leading conflict management tool because it helps trainers, managers, and other professionals conduct productive one-on-one and group discussions about conflict. Used by numerous Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, and government organizations, the assessment helps individuals and teams understand how using different conflict management styles affects interpersonal and group dynamics, empowering them to choose the best approach for any situation.


Manage the impact of workplace conflict

The TKI assessment provides insight into an individual or team’s typical response to conflict situations using one or more of five conflict-handling modes: competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, and accommodating. These modes reflect varying levels of assertiveness and cooperation. By identifying alternative conflict resolution styles and how and when to use them most effectively, the TKI assessment helps people reframe and defuse conflict, creating more productive outcomes.


How to help your employees effectively manage conflict

    • The TKI ® has been valuable in supporting our facilitators and participants to engage in meaningful discussion about differences when it comes to understanding and responding to conflict. Our Conflict Resolution program is more robust as a result of utilising TKI ®.

      Tania Horozides, General Manager, The Maura Fay Group


How can you use the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument?

The TKI assessment supports:

  • Interpersonal and team conflict management—The TKI assessment's simple and effective conflict management model helps both individuals and teams improve their conflict-handling behaviors and use differences constructively.
  • Team development—From general team building to team development to new team formation, the TKI assessment improves team functioning, helping members work together more effectively.
  • Leadership development—The TKI assessment's insights enhance leaders’ conflict management skills and ability to reconcile differences.
  • Performance improvement—The TKI assessment helps eliminate barriers to success in the workplace.
  • Stress reduction—The TKI assessment gives employees the capacity and tools to remove a common cause of work-related stress.
  • Retention—With the means to address conflict effectively, employee morale and success improve, enabling you to build a stronger organization and retain the best talent.

The TKI assessment is easy to use and doesn’t require certification. It can also be administered alongside the MBTI® assessment for deeper insights into personality and conflict management.


Explore the Model

Below you can explore the 5 conflict-handling styles of the TKI®.

Hover over the graphics below that explain the five conflict-handling styles.


Key Benefits

  • Offers five practical, situation-specific styles for dealing with conflict effectively
  • Demonstrates how and when to use each conflict-handling style
  • Improves organisational productivity by helping people gain insight into their own and others’ behaviour - which, in turn, helps them make better choices about outcomes
  • Helps trainers, managers and other professionals open one-on-one or group discussions around conflict
  • Reflects today’s gender, racial, ethnic, age and job-level diversity in the workplace, based on an updated normative sample
  • The TKI ® is unrestricted and requires no special training to administer or interpret


Instrument Features

  • Includes just 30 items, so it is easy to administer and understand
  • Is available both online and in self-scorable, pencil-and-paper format
  • Identifies the five conflict-handling modes
  • Provides personalised presentation and analysis of an individual’s TKI scores via the TKI Profile and Interpretative Report




Other Resources

Relationships & Conflict eBook

The Relationships & Conflict eBook deep dives into the essentials of personal and professional relationships and conflict management. It illustrates how tools such as the MBTI ®, FIRO ® and TKI ® instruments can help us better understand and improve those relationships between colleagues, friends, managers and employees and families.

Please click here to download the eBook.


The TKI Tool eBook

The TKI ® Tool: More Than Conflict Management eBook demonstrates the TKI ® can be used for so much more than resolving conflict. For example, this powerful tool helps organisations address challenges such as:

  • Improving communication
  • Boosting influence and persuasion capabilities
  • Increasing engagement
  • Retaining employees
  • Reducing overall costs of increasing team efficiency

The TKI ® Tool ebook contains many examples of how organisations today are making use of the TKI ® tool to improve performance. We hope that you find it a valuable resource.

Please click here to download the eBook.


Please note that translations are available for selected TKI ® products in the following languages:

Chinese - Simplified, Chinese - Traditional, Danish, Dutch (Netherlands), French, French (Canadian), Portuguese, Portuguese - Brazilian, Spanish (options available), Swedish

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