What is Style Matters?

conflict resolution trainer

Everyone experiences painful differences with others. Yet most of us get little help as youth or adults on how to manage differences.  We figure out a few things by trial and error, but we are often confused and hurt by what happens in conflicts. 

Style Matters is a conflict style inventory that gives specific, practical help for dealing with differences:

  • A snapshot of your patterns of dealing with conflict, that is, your conflict style.

  • A summary of the strengths that often go with those patterns,  a review of potential weaknesses, and based on those, suggestions tailored for improving your patterns of conflict management.

  • Pointers for choosing the best style for the situation you are in.

  • Steps to take to bring out the best in other people in times of disagreement, based on their conflict style.   

        You will need 5-15 minutes to take the inventory.  Remember that

          - There are no "right" or "wrong" answers.
          - You're snapping a picture, not taking a test.
          - No assessment tool is perfect, including this one.
          - No one is set in stone, including you.



Take the Inventory

You can take this inventory in one of two ways. In answering the question think about either:

    • Your response to conflicts in general: "When I'm in a conflict, usually I would...."  
    • Your response in one specific situation.  "In this situation, when there is conflict I would probably...."   Then answer all questions in reference to that particular situation (and of course the scores only apply in reference to it as well.)

Interesting cultural dynamics influence which set of instructions people prefer.    You don't need to understand those now, but if you are curious, you can learn more about them here.

Instruction Set A

General Sketch

Think about your typical responses when your wishes differ from those of another person. Though there may be exceptions, what is typical for you? Your “gut-level response” to the question is likely to be most accurate. For each question, choose the number between 1 (Rarely) and 7 (Usually) that best describes what you actually do

Instruction Set B

Snapshot in a Particular Setting

Choose one context for answering the questions. For example, select a person or particular kind of relationship (co-workers of same status as you, personal friends, a committee in your religious community, etc.) with whom you have experienced disagreements or conflict. Think about your responses in this situation as you answer the questions, choosing the number between 1 (Rarely) and 7 (Usually) that best describes what you actually do.


When you have chosen the instruction set you prefer, click on the button above and go to the inventory.   If, after answering a few questions, the instruction set you chose doesn't feel "right" for you and you prefer to use the other instruction set instead, just go back to the first question and start over.  To bring up a new quiz, click on the Getting Started menu on the left side of the top menu, and then on Taking the Inventory).