The Model

The Seymour-Hallam Conflict Resolution Index (CRI) was developed to help two individuals understand the differences in how they viewed their own behavior in a particular conflict and how the other person perceived their behavior in the same conflict.  Misperceptions in communication often lead to misunderstanding and further conflict. It is important to clearly understand one's own actions and words as well as how they came across to the other person.  Conflict is almost always an emotional experience and emotions have a direct impact on behavior. The more emotional the experience, the more likely people will behave in atypical ways and be less aware of their actual behavior. These differences in perception can sometimes be very dramatic and have negative effects on the relationship that carries on long after the issue is put to rest.   No matter what the actual behavior, one's perception is one's reality and information and dialogue are the tools for bringing these differences in line with each other.

For instance, one person may believe they were listening but the other thought they were completely distracted and uninterested because the person was glancing at the clock during the discussion.  Another common instance is when one person thinks they were calm and rational while the other sees them as having been very upset, raising their voice and not being willing to negotiate.  The individuals are also asked whether they think the resolution was positive or negative so they can see if their beliefs about the outcome matches the beliefs of the other person. It is not unusual to find two people having totally opposite perceptions about the outcome. This usually occurs when one person got their way and the other person did not.

The path to successful conflict resolution also requires a person to know which behaviors are likely to lead to a constructive resolution and which behaviors are likely to lead to a destructive conclusion. The model is based upon 10 best practice behaviors that were identified by the research used to develop The Conflict Lens.

The CRI behavioral and outcome scales are:



TRUST vs. DISTRUST: Did the individual believe in the basic goodness of the other person and their good intentions toward them or did they believe the other person had only their own interests at heart and would try to harm them?

AFFILIATE VS. ALIENTATE: Did the individuals spend energy trying to treat the other person in a tactful and respectful way or were they only interested in settling the issue without regard for the consequences to the relationship?

EMPATHIZE VS. EGOIZE:  Did the person try to see the issue from the other's point of view, or were they only paying attention to their own point of view?

ENGAGE VS. AVOID: Were the individuals committed to solving the problem or did they wish to avoid the issue?

SELF-RESTRAIN VS. EMOTE: Did the parties contain their emotions and approach the conflict in a calm rational manner, or did they become angry and express their feelings in an aggressive way?

OWN VS. BLAME: Did the individuals honestly try to assess how they may have contributed to the problem, or did they believe it was entirely the other person's fault?

COMPROMISE VS. STAND FIRM: Were the individuals flexible and open to other points of view or were they only willing to be satisfied if their own point of view was accepted?

ASSERT VS. COMPLY: Did the person take charge of the conversation in an assertive but appropriate way or did they adopt a nonassertive accommodating manner?

ANALYZE VS. INTUIT: Did the person spend time collecting the facts before the discussion or did they go with the "gut" feelings about the problem?

SEEKS SUPPORT VS. GO SOLO: Did the person share concerns and seek advice from others or did they handle the problem without input from others?



Constructive: Greater confidence that they can resolve conflicts in the future.  Shared responsibility for the conflict or problem. A better solution than they originally had. Closer relationships. An improvement for the benefit of all.

Destructive: Damaged relationships, wounded egos, more conflict, waste of money, giving up, waste of time.


The CRI helps people to develop more effective strategies and approaches so that the inevitable disagreements that occur in all relationships are resolved in a manner that enhances rather than damages the relationship.

The Seymour-Hallam Conflict Resolution Instrument is in the last stages of development and will be available in early 2012.

If you are interested in learning more about the Conflict Lens, please contact Work Effects at 612-333-4272 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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Dealing with conflict....made easy.

The Conflict LensTM is an on-line instrument, a model and a process for helping people develop better communication strategies for managing conflict. Available in 19 languages it has been used in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East.