Conflict and Type

  Conflict and Type Image

When conflicts become reoccurring or frequent, type is a useful tool for building a clearer communication picture.

Not surprising when people are in conflict they most naturally fall back on their strongest preferences.

The table below provides information on how you may self-reflect on your responses to conflict or to identify the preferences of others are using in a conflict.



Ideas for Communicating When You Are This Preference…


  • Tend to talk louder, faster and know that if they say one more thing the whole issue will be cleared up.
  • Desire to talk about the problem now.
  • Stop competing. Remember to listen rather than always be the one talking.
  • Say your piece and back off. Allow the other person time to respond.


  • Have a disadvantage during conflict since they like to think through all the issues.
  • May pull back or walk away.
  • Force yourself to speak on the issues. Above all, do not avoid conflict by being silent.
  • Ask the other person to be silent for a while and listen.


  • Tend to argue the facts, the more specific the better.
  • Prone to sidetrack the bigger issue by focusing on smaller less relevant issues.
  • May nitpick.
  • Try to explore the big picture implications and impact of what you are saying.
  • Avoid bringing up the past to sidetrack the future.


  • May make broad generalizations, often blowing a specific incident into a sweeping pattern.
  • Respect that specific facts may be necessary to resolve the conflict.
  • Avoid trying to win the argument by only focusing on the big picture.


  • Tend to get too analytical.
  • Often miss the people side of the issue.
  • Know when to stop analyzing and competing.
  • It is okay to lose the argument. Life will go on.


  • May give in before an issue is resolved to establish harmony.
  • Tend to personalize everything, even things that weren’t intended to be personal.
  • View disagreements as something to be avoided.
  • Face the conflict. Stand tough and don’t avoid it.
  • Avoid saying, “I’m sorry” or “You’re right” as much as possible. It’s ok to disagree.
  • Stand your ground. Remember not all criticism is directed at you.


  • See things in black and white — they may demand that others do so.
  • Issues for them are simplistic in nature — it’s either this or that, right or wrong, good or bad, etc.
  • If an issue isn’t yet resolved, don’t say that it is just to bring closure.
  • Stop and listen.
  • Allow for some latitude for the other person to explore different aspects of the subjects.


  • May play all sides of an issue. Few things are black and white.
  • Want to keep issues open for more data, other possible solutions, etc.
  • Use negotiation skills.
  • Stay focused.
  • Set limits for yourself on just how long a situation may be kept open.

Resource: Type Talk — The 16 Personality Types that Determine How We Live, Love and Work,
by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen

“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”

Frank Clark