Conflict handling quiz

We all have to deal with conflict at one time or another, and how we deal with it has an impact on us and the recipients.

The following conflict handling quiz helps you find your primary style of dealing with conflict.

What is your primary conflict handling style?


You may want to write your answers  to this conflict handing quiz on a piece of paper.

For each of the 15 items, indicate how often you rely on that tactic by giving it the appropriate number between 1 and 5.  No 1 is rarely while no 5 is always. After you have responded to all 15 items, complete the scoring key below.

Conflict handling tactics                         

  1. I argue my case to show the merits of my position.
  2. I negotiate so that a compromise can be reached.
  3. I try to satisfy the expectations of the person I am dealing with.             
  4. I try to investigate an issue to find a solution acceptable to us both.                                   
  5. I am firm in pursuing my side of the issue.
  6. I attempt to avoid being put on the spot and try to keep my conflict to myself.          
  7. I hold on to my solution to a Problem.                           
  8. I use give and take so that a compromise can be made.     
  9. I exchange accurate information with others to solve a problem together.
  10. I avoid open discussion of my differences with my others.      
  11. I accommodate the wishes of others.
  12.  I try to bring all our concerns out in the open so that the issues can be resolved in the best possible way.  
  13. I propose a middle ground for breaking deadlock.
  14. I go along with the suggestions of others.
  15. I try to keep my disagreements with others to myself in order to avoid hard feelings.        

Having completed this conflict handling quiz fill in the boxes below.

Conflict handling quiz - what is your style?

Integrating (problem solving)

  • Interested parties confront the issue
  • Co-operatively identify the problem 
  • Generate and weigh alternative solutions
  • Select a solution.  
  • Integrating is appropriate for complex issues plagued by misunderstanding.  
  • It is inappropriate for resolving conflicts rooted in opposing value systems.  

Its primary strength is it’s longer lasting impact because it deals with the underlying problem rather than merely its symptoms.  

The primary weakness of this style is that it is very time consuming.

Obliging (Smoothing)    

  • An obliging person neglects his or her own concern to satisfy the concern of the other party. This style, often called smoothing, involves playing down differences while emphasising commonalties.  
  • Obliging, may be an appropriate conflict handling strategy when it is possible to eventually get something in return.  But it’s inappropriate for complex or worsening problems.  

Its primary strength is that it encourages  co-operation.

Its main weakness is that it’s a temporary fix that fails to confront the underlying problem.


Dominating (Forcing)

  • High concern for self and low concern for other encourages “I win, you lose” tactics.  The other party’s needs are largely ignored.  This style is often called forcing because it relies on formal authority to force compliance.  
  • Dominating is appropriate when an unpopular solution must be implemented, the issue is minor, or a deadline is near.  It is inappropriate in an open and participative climate.  

Speed is a primary strength.  

The primary weakness of this domineering style is that it often breeds resentment.


  • This tactic may involve either passive withdrawal from the problem or active suppression of the issue.  
  • Avoidance is appropriate for trivial issues or when the costs of confrontation outweigh the benefits of resolving the conflict. It is inappropriate for difficult and worsening problems.  

The main strength of this style is that it buys time in unfolding or ambiguous situation.  

The primary weakness is that the tactic provides a temporary fix that side-steps the underlying problem.


  • This is a give and take approach involving moderate concern for both self and others.  
  • Compromise is appropriate when parties have opposite goals or possess equal power.  
  • But compromise is inappropriate when overuse would lead to inconclusive action 

The primary strength of this tactic is that the democratic process has no losers

The primary weakness is that it is a temporary fix that can stifle creative problem solving.  

Doing this conflict handling quiz may help you understand what method you presently use and may encourage a balance is style to get improved results – that work for everyone.

If you found the conflict handling quiz helpful link to improved communications.

Return to interpersonal relationships