Don't Double Down On Conflict

Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Monday, November 22, 2021
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Don't Double Down On Conflict

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Tags: #conflict #stressmanagement #communications

When we get into an argument, we have a tendency to double down on our approach. When our approach isn't working, why do we try even harder (or louder) from the same perspective?

The definition of insanity is repeating the same action yet expecting a different result.

If we keep using the same emotional energy and approach to a situation, we either perpetuate the problem or add a new set of challenges.

Don't double down when in conflict with another person. Change things up and find the appropriate emotional lens through which to see the situation in order to discover a successful approach.

The Core Values Index psychometric assessment gives you insight into how you (and others) naturally respond to stress. Your Conflict Resolution Strategy dictates your instinctive response to confrontation.

If you haven't already taken the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, head over to The assessment takes just 8 minutes to complete and has the highest repeat reliability rating of any personality assessment available today.

Different Energies. Different Responses.

Your core values personality profile determines how you see the world and your preferred method of operating within it. If your primary core value energy is Builder, you like to be the source of powerful energy in the room. You prefer action over debate, results over process, and never lack the faith that you will always know what to do. What triggers your conflict resolution strategy? The opposite of power: feeling weak and powerless. When you feel powerless, your instinctive response is to intimidate.

If you find that intimidation doesn't work, you will revert down to your secondary core value energy's conflict resolution strategy.

Merchants want to be the source of connected love in the room. They strive for getting everyone pulling together toward a common goal. Being the source of love and being worthy of love is what drives that energy. The opposite of this is to be unloved and unworthy of love. When faced with a situation that makes the Merchant feel unloved, they will respond by manipulating the emotions of the other person.

What drives Innovators and makes them happiest is to be the source of wisdom in the room. They are the world's problem solvers. Nothing stresses them out quicker than being made to feel foolish and unwise — the opposite of someone confident they can solve any problem they face. If you make an Innovator feel foolish, unwise, and incapable of solving the problem, they will respond with their conflict resolution strategy of interrogation.

What motivates and pleases a Banker more than anything is to be the definitive source of knowledge. They want to have the data and information necessary in any situation. So what makes a Banker respond negatively? By making them feel like they are ignorant and without knowledge. The Banker's conflict resolution strategy is to aloofly judge.

All of these conflict resolution strategies are automatic. These responses are innate and can rear their head quite rapidly.

Flipping Your Emotions

If you are feeling powerless, without love or undeserving of love, foolish, or ignorant, your response is to flip those feelings around to regain your power, love, wisdom and knowledge.

It is very common to do this by repeating your actions with more intensity.

But isn't repeating the same action — especially with more veracity — the definition of insanity?

Learn to recognize your responses when you are feeling challenged and stressed.

Understand your automatic reaction. Learn to identify which core value energy at your disposal is most appropriate for the situation and adjust accordingly.

If your primary conflict resolution strategy isn't working, take the positive approach of your secondary core value energy. This takes a deliberate effort because your instinctual response is to work your way down each of your core value energy's conflict resolution strategies.

For example, if you are a Merchant and you get into an argument, your natural reaction will be to manipulate the emotions of the other person.

Recognize that you are doing this. Name it in your mind ("I am attempting to manipulate the other person.") By naming it, you move out of the emotional part of your brain and into the cognitive part, giving you an edge of control.

What is your secondary core value energy? Let's say you are a Merchant/Innovator, and your tertiary energy is Banker and your minor energy is Builder. Deliberately move into your Innovator's energy in that moment. Ask yourself, "What would an Innovator do?" How would an Innovator approach the situation? They would see it as if it were a problem to solve (in this case it is).

It is not uncommon for the stress level in an argument to immediately improve just by changing your approach to a more rational, thoughtful one and away from a reactive and emotional stance.

This improvement in tension and stress levels can occur regardless of which energy you started in. If your initial conflict response doesn't produce a good outcome, deliberately switch to the positive energy next on your personal list.

You will be surprised at how effective this can be at turning a conflict-ladened situation into one of positivity and growth.

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 - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.

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