Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP)
About the Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP)
The Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP), an assessment instrument measuring conflict behaviors, is an excellent resource to increase self-awareness and improve conflict management skills. The CDP is unlike any other assessment tool in that it focuses specifically on conflict behaviors, rather than styles. It helps individuals and teams understand how they respond to conflict, what triggers can escalate conflict, and how to manage conflict more effectively.
Two versions of the instrument—the CDP-Individual (CDP-I) and CDP-360— emphasize an action-oriented approach which leads to real improvement. A thorough Development Guide provides information and tips for coping with conflict and building strong interpersonal relationships.
As a “self-report,” the (CDP-I) looks at how you view yourself. It provides a simple way of helping you understand more about how you respond to conflict both behaviorally and emotionally.
The CDP-360 enables you to compare your own perceptions about how you behave during conflict with those of your colleagues. It provides a complete “conflict profile” with feedback from bosses, peers, and direct reports. The CDP-360 is particularly helpful for leaders, managers, and high-potential employees for whom conflict can be particularly challenging.
In addition to feedback on 15 scales, both versions of the CDP have a unique “hot buttons” section which identifies the emotional triggers that negatively impact relationships.
Using the CDP
Since the topic of conflict is so universal, there are numerous ways to use the CDP. From leadership development training with individuals and teams to coaching settings with high-potential managers, the CDP can identify both strengths as well as problem areas.
The CDP is an excellent tool to explore how conflict is being managed in an organization. The language of the instrument provides an excellent starting point for how to describe and measure a desired approach to workplace conflict. By learning these new components as part of an orientation session, new employees can adjust their personal behavior to match up with the cultural norms of the organization.
The CDP is particularly helpful in team settings. In addition to each individual report, a group report can be generated that outlines team behaviors and responses. This report often opens up the door for effective conversations about acceptable responses to conflict and hot button triggers. Members of the team learn how certain behaviors might inadvertently trigger irritation in their colleagues as well as how to avoid pushing these hot buttons.
When a client is sensitive to feedback from others or reluctant to use a multi-rater instrument, the CDP can still be used to focus on conflict patterns. The CDP helps the client consider his or her responses to conflict and provides comparisons to a large norm group. It can be a helpful first step in diagnosing areas of strength and developmental opportunities.
Constructive Behavioral Scales:
- Perspective Taking – Putting yourself in the other person’s position and trying to understand that person’s point of view.
- Creating Solutions – Brainstorming with the other person, asking questions, and trying to create solutions to the problem.
- Expressing Emotions – Talking honestly with the other person and expressing your thoughts and feelings.
- Reaching Out – Reaching out to the other person, making the first move, and trying to make amends.
- Reflective Thinking – Analyzing the situation, weighing the pros and cons, and thinking about the best response.
- Delay Responding – Waiting things out, letting matters settle down, or taking a “time out” when emotions are running high.
- Adapting – Staying flexible, and trying to make the best of the situation.
Destructive Behavioral Scales:
- Winning at All Costs – Arguing vigorously for your own position and trying to win at all costs.
- Displaying Anger – Expressing anger, raising your voice, and using harsh, angry words.
- Demeaning Others – Laughing at the other person, ridiculing the other’s ideas, and using sarcasm.
- Retaliating – Obstructing the other person, retaliating against the other, and trying to get revenge.
- Avoiding – Avoiding or ignoring the other person, and acting distant and aloof.
- Yielding – Giving in to the other person in order to avoid further conflict.
- Hiding Emotions – Concealing your true emotions even though feeling upset.
- Self-Criticizing – Replaying the incident over in your mind, and criticizing yourself for not handling it better.
Hot Button Scales:
- Unreliable – Those who are unreliable, miss deadlines and cannot be counted on.
- Overly-Analytical – Those who are perfectionists, over-analyze things and focus too much on minor issues.
- Unappreciative – Those who fail to give credit to others or seldom praise good performance.
- Aloof – Those who isolate themselves, do not seek input from others or are hard to approach.
- Micro-Managing – Those who constantly monitor and check up on the work of others.
- Self-Centered – Those who are self-centered or believe they are always correct.
- Abrasive – Those who are arrogant, sarcastic and abrasive.
- Untrustworthy – Those who exploit others, take undeserved credit or cannot be trusted.
- Hostile – Those who lose their tempers, become angry, or yell at others.
The CDP-I report contains graphs measuring constructive behaviors, destructive behaviors, and hot buttons. It is accompanied by a 40-page Development Guide which gives suggestions for improving behaviors and cooling hot buttons.
The CDP-360 report is much more comprehensive. In addition to containing graphs measuring constructive behaviors, destructive behaviors, and hot buttons, it also has narrative comments from other raters, measures of the organizational importance of various conflict behaviors, and indications of how the individual is viewed during different stages of conflict. Accompanying the CDP-360 report is a 115-page Development Guide with suggestions for development, recommended resources, and guidelines for successful action planning.