Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“I yam what I yam!”

Popeye’s catchphrase is an expression of American individualism; how we approach conflict is measurable through various personal styles - all in a cultural context.

Ron Kraybill, publisher of Riverhouse ePress, has released to trainers a free review copy of the 22 page Style Matters: The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory. The inventory is a recently developed five-styles-of-conflict inventory used by business managers, organizational consultants, and conflict resolution trainers worldwide to teach conflict management skills.

Like the widely-used Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and a number other inventories, Style Matters is based on the Mouton-Blake Grid. However, Style Matters adds a unique feature making the instrument culturally sensitive [this is really a bonus!]. For example, users are instructed to identify whether they are from an individualistic (i.e. white, Anglo North American) or a collectivistic (i.e. black, Hispanic, indigenous) culture, and are given slightly differing instructions accordingly.

Another significant feature of Style Matters is that it gives users two sets of scores, one for “calm” conditions and one for “storm”, recognizing that many people’s style shifts under high stress. Some people who are high in Directing behaviors in the beginning of a conflict shift into Avoiding as stress mounts and others may shift from Avoiding to Directing.

Trainers and consultants may request a free review copy in PDF form, by sending a note indicating their organizational affiliation to A link to a PDF file will immediately be forwarded.

Even if you are not a trainer, here are some sample pages from Style Matters to take a look at – especially the fifth page!

To email me, click Perry S. Itkin.