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Do you know your conflict animal?

Is there someone with whom you have repeated conflict? I’m not talking about an occasional disagreement. I’m talking about someone with whom you disagree on a regular basis?

Did you know that there is a pattern to your conflict that you follow as surely as the dance steps of a waltz? What if you could learn those steps and diffuse the situation before it erupts?

Hi folks. Steve Hammond here from

Drs. Kilmann and Thomas came up with a way to classify our behavior during conflict. They gave each of the five approaches an animal, rather than just a name.

They said that folks tend to be a shark, turtle, owl, teddy bear (OK, not a real animal), and fox. Each of these approach conflict in a predictable way.

What was amazing about their study was that when two people have repeated conflict, each has a progression of animals they use to deal with the conflict. Up to three of them.

If the conflict goes on long enough, each at their own determination, will switch to a second animal. Eventually, they will have a tertiary animal.

So, conflict with the same person begins to resemble a dance. Each person knows well the steps and repeats them with amazing predictability.

Understanding this dance can greatly reduce the stress and keep us from putting up barricades that prevent a solution. It can also help us not misinterpret the other person’s intentions and motives.

Well, that’s it for today.

If you need help with conflict or if you need a speaker for your next virtual or live event, call, text, or email me. Let’s see if we can resolve the situation together.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel from the link in the comment below. Like us on our Horseless Ranch Facebook page.

Remember: “I make folks unfireable.”

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