Conflict Personalities: The Champion

Scott McIver Articles, Conflict Personalities Leave a Comment

Welcome to the second instalment of our ‘Conflict Personalities‘ series, where we’ll be taking a look at the ‘Champion‘ personality.

So, to begin with…

What is a Champion personality?
Champions are individuals focused on ideas and concepts, rather than facts and logic. They make decisions instead based on feelings and values, and generally prefer to be spontaneous and flexible.

Most tellingly, they are enthusiastic about new ideas and activities, and take great pride in introducing new procedures and initiatives. They do this through excellent communication and interpersonal skills, using wit, humour, and intelligence to get others onside.

How do they get into conflict?
Champions experience the most conflict when someone goes against one of their values. They tend to be very protective over what they believe and will confront and argue with others to defend them.

They can also be triggered by management that is too hands-on or stifling, or rules that suppress their creativity and expression. Pressure from external sources, such as deadlines, can also cause conflict and stress.

Who might they get into conflict with?
While Champions and Craftsmen share many of the same traits, especially when it comes to their values and beliefs, they have entirely different ways of showing it. While Champions are more extroverted and ideas-focused, Craftsmen are more introverted and facts-based. This can lead to classic personality clashes and miscommunications.

The main difference between Champions and Inspectors is their approach to important projects and tasks. While Champions prefer to be spontaneous and imaginative, believing creativity to produce the best results, Inspectors take the opposite route. To them, rules, plans, and structures are there for a reason and should be adhered to as such.

Supervisors like to be the single voice in charge and, generally, don’t take on others ideas’ and feedback. This stifling approach to management can cause great stress to Champions, in that it means they can’t express their enthusiasm or creativity. What’s more, if the chosen choice of action goes against their values, this can cause some very outspoken disagreements!

What are they like when in conflict?
While Champions are passionate and outspoken for the most part, they have a habit of internalising things that bother them. So, while they’re more than happy to stand up for their beliefs and values, they’ll often be the least likely to stand up for themselves.

In addition, Champions also tend to close up and shut down during conflict, especially when someone hits a raw nerve. So, if someone brings up an insecurity of theirs, there’s very little chance that they will try to resolve it.

How they can resolve conflict more effectively?
Champions need to learn to speak up more regularly, particularly when their own feelings have been hurt. This doesn’t have to be in an aggressive or confrontational way, and can be addressed through an informal conversation about why the action or statement bothered them.

This nipping in the bud can also help to prevent the conflict getting worse and can mitigate the need for formal procedures further down the line.

Where has UK Mediation encountered Champions?
Over the past twenty years, we have come across many Champion-type personalities, especially on the training side of our services.

These people may be HR Managers looking to implement new initiatives, in this case mediation, or those who work in Employee Relations that think outside the box.

Another example would be Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in NHS Trusts, individuals who are passionate about improving healthcare services and who are proud to be at the forefront of such an important initiative.

Are you a ‘Champion’ personality type? Or does this sound like a friend or colleague?

Let us know in the comments below!

View our previous ‘Conflict Personalities’ articles here

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