Summit Team Building

Using the Strength Deployment Inventory to Navigate Employee Conflict Effectively

Have you ever been part of a team where employee conflict seemed to be the norm? Maybe disagreements over project direction or communication breakdowns left you feeling frustrated and unproductive. You’re not alone. Conflict is a common occurrence in teams, but when left unaddressed, it can wreak havoc on productivity and morale.

When team members are at odds with one another, it’s challenging to work collaboratively towards a common goal. Communication breaks down, trust is eroded, and productivity suffers. This can lead to missed deadlines, mistakes, and a general sense of dissatisfaction with the work being done. Over time, unresolved conflict can even lead to high employee turnover, as people look for a more positive work environment.

As someone who has worked in teams, I know firsthand the impact of conflict on morale and productivity. That’s why I believe it’s essential for teams to have tools and strategies to navigate conflict effectively. One such tool is the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), which can help teams better understand themselves and one another, ultimately leading to more effective conflict resolution.

What is the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI)?  

Rather than focus on what we choose or prefer to do which many other assessment tools do, the SDI helps us to understand why we behave the way we do and how we relate to one another. The SDI gives everyone a common language for understanding and is based on the idea that people’s behavior is driven by their core beliefs and values, which the SDI refers to as motivational value systems. 

The SDI measures a person’s motivational value system, which is based on three core components: people, performance, and process. These components help individuals understand how they interact with others and what motivates them in a team environment.

The Conflict Sequence, The Strengths/Overdone Strengths and the SDI

The SDI also measures your conflict sequence, a separate result that assesses how your motivations change as conflict escalates. Some people’s motivations are radically different when they feel a threat to their self worth and therefore their behaviours are drastically different when they are in conflict. For others, motivations stay very similar in conflict, and it is difficult to tell when they are in conflict.

If we have time, we can also assess your portrait of personal strengths and overdone strengths that you use at work. After all, we all want to feel good about who we are, and we feel best when our motives align with the strengths we use most often.

How SDI Helps in Navigating Employee Conflict

One of the ways the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) can help teams navigate conflict more effectively is by enabling them to recognize when they are in conflict and identify the underlying issues causing the conflict. Being in conflict is not always easily detected. It doesn’t necessarily mean extreme examples that we all think about such as yelling, crying, door slamming, etc. Being in conflict in SDI understanding is anytime my sense of self worth feels threatened. Others only see my outward behaviour and do not see how I feel internally and may not recognize when I am in conflict. 

Sometimes conflicts in the workplace can seem to arise out of nowhere, and it’s hard to determine what’s really going on. However, the SDI can help team members recognize when they are in conflict by providing a framework for understanding their own and others’ motivations and values which is very helpful. Even the common language that the SDI tool provides equips teammates with greater understanding of their own and other motivations which allows them to discuss their differences and therefore decrease misunderstandings.

RELATED: Team Assessment Tools, Top Tools to Choose and Use

The SDI helps team members identify the underlying issues causing the conflict by highlighting differences in motivational value systems. For example, if one team member places a high value on performance, while another prioritizes people, there may be conflict when it comes to decision-making or goal-setting. By understanding these differences, team members can identify the underlying issues and work together to find a resolution that aligns with everyone’s values.

In my experience, the SDI has been invaluable in helping teams recognize when they are in conflict and identify the root cause. By providing a common language for discussing differences and similarities in values, the SDI can help team members communicate more openly and effectively, ultimately leading to more effective conflict resolution.

How Summit Can Help

As someone who has used the SDI in a team setting, I can attest to its effectiveness in promoting understanding and collaboration in navigating conflict. Summit has certified facilitators of the SDI tool and would love to talk with you about we can utilize the SDI training workshop as a way for your team to grow in effectiveness as they navigate conflict and to promote healthy team engagement, and more effective communication and collaboration. Contact Us to start the conversation!

Scott Kress

Scott Kress is an accomplished climber and adventurer. He’s completed the 7 summits and skied to both the North and South Pole. His storytelling based on his adventures is captivating, but what sets Scott apart is his ability to weave his stories together with his 20+ years of leadership and team development education and experience. Scott is the president of Summit Team Building, and is passionate about helping teams grow and companies flourish.

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