Conflict Resolution Strategies And Your Core Values Index Personality Profile

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, August 28, 2023
Conflict Resolution Strategies And Your Core Values Index Personality Profile

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The way you behave and interact with the world is a combination of two things: nature and nurture.

Nature vs Nurture

Although no one knows for sure how much of each determines your personality profile — and this ratio will likely vary from person to person — we do know that everyone's personality is influenced and determined by both their experiences and how they are emotionally hardwired.

The Core Values Index™ is the world's most accurate psychometric assessment and personality test.1 It measures with 97.7% repeat reliability your innate, unchanging nature, what we like to call your personality's DNA.

Your CVI profile is that hardwired part of your personality that evidence shows is largely set at birth. In fact, longitudinal studies have shown that your CVI profile will vary or change by less than 3% throughout your life.

The things you experience in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood — relationships with your parents, siblings and schoolmates; education; work; life events — all influence how you behave today. But underneath it all, the core of your personality and the lens through which you see the world and prefer to act within it is your unchanging psychometric profile.

It is the unchanging part of your personality that determines your default and automatic reaction to stress and conflict.

How the CVI Works

When you complete the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, you receive a set of scores that represent how much of four main personality types reside within you. Each of these four core value energies are indicated by a score of 0 (none present) to 36 (maximum present), with the total equalling exactly 72. This means if you have more of one or two core values types in your personality profile, the other two are proportionally underrepresented.

This article describes the conflict resolution strategies of each of these four core values. Your particular CVI profile will include a particular combination or ratio of these four. Be sure to complete the CVI and review your particular core values scores, keeping in mind how much of each dwells within your personality.

If you have a fairly well-rounded CVI profile — roughly equal amounts of two or more core values — then the descriptions that follow will likely apply to your personality in those same ratios.

Core Values Conflict Resolution Strategies

To start, the four core values are called Builder, Merchant, Innovator, and Banker. We've written about the characteristics of these many times on our blog. You can read about them here:


Builders are all about power and getting things done. If your CVI profile has Builder energy in the primary position, what will make you feel stressed or conflicted the fastest? The opposite of what makes you feel energized and the most alive — feeling powerful — is to feel powerless.

When someone with primary Builder energy within their CVI profile feels powerless, their default response to conflict is to intimidate. Intimidation is your automatic way of regaining your power and eliminating that feeling of powerlessness.


Merchants want to feel connected to the group. Their joy is found in getting everyone to work together toward a common goal, to get things moving. Merchants are great at motivating everyone to get things started. This gives them the sense that they are the strongest presence of community love in the room.

If your primary core value energy is Merchant, what will make you feel stressed and conflicted the quickest? Being made to feel unloved or unworthy of love. As soon as the Merchant feels unloved, unworthy of love, or shunned from the group, their default conflict resolution strategy is to manipulate.

Nobody can manipulate others on an emotional level more effectively than a Merchant when in their conflict resolution mode. They will say things to get others pulling behind them in a concerted counter-effort against the person they think has wronged them. Because Merchants have the strongest level of intuitiveness among all four core value energies, that gives them the super power of cutting others down with the greatest effectiveness.

Hell hath no fury like a Merchant scorned.


Those with Innovator as their primary core value energy love nothing more than solving problems. Being the greatest source of wisdom in the group thrills them to the deepest part of their being. What is the opposite of being wise?

An Innovator will instantly go into their conflict resolution strategy of interrogation the moment they are made to feel foolish or unwise. If you make an Innovator feel as if their contribution is unwanted or unwise, they will start asking leading questions in an effort to make you realize that you are the unwise one.

The opposite of one's source of joy is the source of their greatest stress.


If you are a person with Banker as your primary core value energy, you will know that being the source of knowledge and information, justly given to those who deserve to receive it, is where you are the happiest. It is a source of pride for you to be the definitive source of data and knowledge on a given subject.

As we've pointed out with the other three core value energies, the opposite of one's source of joy is the source of their greatest stress. In the case of Bankers, the opposite of knowledge and information is ignorance. If you make a Banker feel as if they are ignorant or don't know the answer to something (or at least know where to look it up), their conflict resolution strategy is to aloofly judge you.

You Are a Blend

It is important to note that no one is represented by a single core value energy. Everyone has a blend of each of the four, and it is your particular ratio of these that define your Core Values Index psychometric profile.

As you read these conflict resolution strategies, be sure to compare them to your own CVI scores so you can learn how much of them dwell within you and define your response to stress, relatively speaking.

You probably also noticed that the greatest source of each core value energy's joy is what will make them feel stressed out the quickest and at the deepest level.

  • Builder's are driven to be the source of power and action, so feeling powerless really hits them hard. Their reaction is to intimidate.
  • Merchants want to be the source of love within the group, so being excluded from that group or being made to feel unloved or unworthy of love will make them respond with manipulation.
  • Innovators are driven to be the greatest source of wisdom. This means that being made to feel foolish or unwise will snap them into their conflict resolution strategy of interrogation.
  • Bankers seek to be the greatest source of knowledge and information. The opposite of that is ignorance, and being made to feel ignorant will quickly send the Banker into a state of aloof judgment.

Final Tips

If you learn to recognize these conflict resolution strategies in others, you now have two key insights to help you improve your ability to interact more constructively.

First, a person's response to conflict or stress is a key indicator of what their primary core value energy is. That's your first clue about how that person prefers to communicate and interact.

Second, their stress response tells you what is likely causing them to react negatively. Give them the opposite of that source of stress to help them pull out of their conflict resolution mode. Stop making the Builder feel powerless, the Merchant feel unloved, the Innovator feel unwise, or the Banker feel ignorant.


[1] Seattle Research Partners, 2014

Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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