Thomas Kilmann’s Conflict Model
Thomas Kilmann’s Conflict Model evaluates individuals’ conduct in conflict situations. The model identifies the diverse conflict styles that various individuals utilize when handling conflicts. Individuals’ behavior can be categorized into cooperativeness and assertiveness. Cooperativeness is the extent to which a person attempts to consider another person’s concerns. Alternatively, assertiveness is the degree to which a person attempts to satisfy his or her concerns. The model comprises of five modes, including accommodating, avoidant, collaborative, competing, and compromising conflict styles. Collaborating and competing styles are regarded as assertive while avoidant and accommodating are perceived to be less assertive. Compromising conflict style is considered to be moderately assertive and cooperative. The model is distinctive because it classifies all individuals within the identified styles. Moreover, it enables individuals to comprehend their conflict behavior strategies and work on enhancing their communication skills.
12 Angry Men and Notable Conflicting Strategies
The competing conflict style in the film is depicted by juror 7 who has a strong belief that the suspect is guilty. He affirms that the suspect was involved in the murder. It appears as though the character perceives his ideologies to be superior to others. The character does not acknowledge the opinions of his colleagues. The competing conflict style manifests when juror 3 appears to perceive his views as superior to those of his colleagues. Juror 3 disregards all other conceptions surrounding the issue and affirms that the suspect is guilty. He refuses to consider the evidence provided by his colleagues, indicating the possibility of the suspect being innocent. He narrates that he was disappointed when his son was scared to engage in a fight, and further affirms that he took the initiative to empower his son, proving that he is competitive. Juror 3 demeans juror 9 by using personal attacks. He refuses to listen to his ideas and walks away from the table where the convention is taking place.
Additionally, collaborating conflict style that is evident among several characters, including juror 8 and juror 11. Juror 8 is considerate as he tries to enlighten the rest of the group about the possibilities that the suspect is not guilty. He illustrates the conflicting substantiations provided by the accusers. He integrates new ideas to challenge the rest of the group. Moreover, he is devoted to creative problem solving as he does not come up with conclusions. He critically analyzes the situation prior to identifying possible solutions. Juror 11 is concerned about the case as he appears to assess all possibilities critically. Initially, he asserts that the suspect is guilty, but after listening to the case, he willingly decides to change his verdict. When he is questioned by juror 3, he explains that his ruling is not static, as it may be altered depending on the available evidence. Juror 11 possesses good creative thinking skills as he challenges the rest of the group concerning the proof that appears to be inconclusive.
Another vital discussion aspect is the avoidant conflict style manifested when juror 2 is seen to avoid the conflict. While discussions are progressing, he walks to his bag, takes a snack, and asks who would be willing to share the snack with him. He further provides illustrations that are unrelated to the case. Throughout the entire discussion, juror 2 does not provide much input compared to the rest. Juror 12 also appears to be less concerned with the case, although he utters a few suggestions; he is seen to smoke almost throughout the entire session. At a particular point, he makes a joke amidst the discussion, demonstrating his lack of seriousness about the matter.
The accommodating conflicting style is evident among several characters who appear to have the desire to get along with the rest of the group members. Juror 1 and Juror 5 are not very engaged in the discussion. They do not make significant contributions, perhaps because they intend to get along with others or because they are not interested in the case. Juror 5 tries to consider others’ views, with the intent of avoiding disagreements.
Additionally, there is the compromising conflict style. Although the characters do not make a verdict, it seems that they compromise when the film is almost coming to an end. Juror 3 asserts that his views regarding the case are accurate. He insists that the suspect is guilty. When he turns to question the rest of the group members, they stare at him blankly without uttering a word. He retaliates by calling them names and shouting angrily. This particular instance demonstrates the compromising conflict style because even though the rest of the group does not agree with juror 3 ideas, they maintain silence to prevent further arguments.
The Application of Conflicting Styles
The avoidant conflict style is appropriate when an issue does not concern me. For instance, if two individuals start to argue between themselves, it is proper not to interfere. In addition, this style is suitable when a controversial issue arises, and one lacks sufficient factual statements regarding the matter. In such a case, the likelihood of confrontation is high, thus to minimize such a scenario, it is best to maintain silence. The accommodating conflict style is most suitable when there is a need to maintain harmony between two conflicting groups. For instance, if two communities are arguing over a particular issue and there is an increased likelihood of disputes occurring if the solution favors one side, it is best to utilize this conflict strategy. Moreover, I can integrate this strategy when I am not concerned about a particular issue that is being discussed, and my opinion is likely to create division. The competing conflict style might be applicable when handling a case. For instance, if I am required to determine a verdict, and I am certain that others’ opinions are inaccurate, the competing conflict strategy can be incorporated. Furthermore, if the case I am dealing with involves severe consequences, then it will be appropriate to implement this strategy. The collaborating conflict style is most applicable when dealing with relationships, most especially romantic relationships. Individuals are bound to annoy each other. Therefore, in order to prevent an unhealthy relationship, I will employ the collaborating approach to ensure proper communication and to avoid any resentment. I can utilize the compromising conflict style when trying to resolve an issue between two groups, and there appears to be no solution, yet there is limited time. For instance, if I am a project manager and two conflicting teams are unable to decide on a solution, and tasks are required to be completed within a particular time frame, I will incorporate the views of both teams to avoid project delays.