The Sports Conflict Institute (SCI) announced a partnership with Kilmann Diagnostics (KD) to offer conflict management e-learning courses to athletes, coaches, administrators, and supporters in the sports community. “We are thrilled to be able to introduce these cutting-edge courses to folks in the sports world. These courses provide critical foundation in understanding, preventing, and resolving conflict,” shared Joshua Gordon, founder of SCI.


“The Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) remains the gold standard in assessing conflict styles. This is an especially important framework when trying to improve critical relationships in sports, such as coaches and athletes, that drive competitive success,” continued Gordon.

Athlete Conflict Styles

According to, the TKI Assessment recently celebrated it’s 40 year anniversary. TKI helps individuals understand their conflict styles across two key dynamics – assertiveness and cooperativeness. These axes serve to sort people into five primary conflict styles; Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Avoiding, and Accommodating. “Everyone seems to think that athletes will primarily be found in the competing category but the actual results when we assess them is quite surprising,” added Gordon.

Course Topics

The e-Learning courses cover topics such as culture, team management, and critical thinking in addition to the core conflict management framework.

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About SCI

SCI supports competitive goals in athletics through understanding, preventing, and resolving destructive conflicts that occur both inside and outside the lines. SCI serves as a resource center and provides a range of services to help manage risk and optimize performance. Conflict is inevitable, but how we respond determines whether success follows or costs mount.

SCI supports organizational and individual goals through education, research, and service focusing on sports conflict. Closely connecting classroom learning to real world problems challenges the value of abstract theories and ensures their relevance in a rapidly changing world.

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