November 12, 2015

We’ve got a lot going on in our lives these days, don’t we?

What doesn’t affect us at this point? Between work, school responsibilities, life lessons, commitments to your friends and family, not to mention those crazy emotions that show up all the time…

It’s so easy to get lost in it all!

With all this stuff affecting us throughout our day, conflicts with other people can, and do, happen easily.

You’re going about your day and someone says something that just gets under your skin. Or they do something that you recognize as not being “bad” per say, but it’s still A THING for some reason…

Or worse yet! Things get tense between you and a coworker (or anyone else for that matter), and despite your best efforts to keep your zen and work through the conflict, it just keeps getting more and more frustrating!

Why does this even happen!?

Deep breaths. We’ve been there too! In fact, we all have.

Now, there are a lot of different reasons these types of conflicts come up. Sometimes it’s as simple as pet peeves, and other times it’s as complex as personal trauma. All of which could be explored in depth.

But most of the time, when it comes to those pesky day-to-day conflicts, it’s someone else’s personality traits that are getting to you! Sometimes people’s personalities just don’t jive with us as easily as we’d like.

Let’s sneak a peak at what might be rubbing you the wrong way, and how they’re easily solvable.

Just a heads up:

This is going to be a longer article, but it’s very comprehensive and offers some great strategies that can really improve your life.

But at the end of it, you’ll have 4 actionable steps you can start applying immediately to minimize these conflicts in your life.

What Is The Most Common Source Of Conflict?

There are plenty of reasons conflicts come up in our lives. But most of these reasons stem back to one MAJOR factor:


Yep, that’s the root of it all. Seems simple, right?

We get so caught up with our busy lives, that it becomes increasingly difficult to express ourselves clearly as the day goes on. Seriously, sometimes it’s difficult from the very get-go (or at least until we get some coffee…)

Not only that, but with all the distractions of our modern age, our listening skills aren’t as great as they could be, which only complicates things further.

It doesn’t actually matter who’s “fault” it is for starting or perpetuating the conflict.

In fact, the more you’re focusing on “who did what” the better chance you’re never going to resolve anything. We could (and probably will) write a whole article about this…

But for now, let’s focus on a tactic we can use that will solve these conflicts both quickly and effectively.

What Causes Miscommunication?

Now that we know miscommunication is really causing most of our conflicts, we have to understand why before we can see how KKS can help.

Miscommunication is an end result of conflicting perspectives.

The very definition of conflict is pretty much something along the lines of:

“Two (or more) people not seeing eye to eye.”

Therefore, it’s very safe to say there are different perspectives in a conflict. The popular saying, “it takes two to tango” comes to mind here.

Your perspective is a result of your mindset.

At the end of the day, the perspective through which you’re seeing the world is a result of all your thoughts, emotions, and life experiences up until that point in time.

Others don’t instinctually understand it, because your experience can’t be replicated. It’s not their experience. They naturally have an entirely different perspective.

That’s why communication is so important!

Minimizing conflicts ultimately comes down to 2 MAJOR things:

  1. Your skill in communicating your experiences, needs, and wants with others.
  1. Your understanding of other people’s perspectives.

Those two aspects are very “you” focused, because that’s all you can control in a conflict. In an ideal scenario, the other person would do the same as well…

But let’s be real, when you want to solve a conflict quickly, it’s never the ideal scenario.

So what do you do? How can you minimize conflicts more effectively when the other parties aren’t as like-minded?

“Knight, King, Sage” Can Easily Help Solve Miscommunication From Your Side Of The Conflict

The bigger aspects that affect your mindset at any given point in time are very complex.

Things like language, personal trauma, life experiences, the way you were raised, cultural differences, etc. ALL play a part in some way.

In these cases, the best course of action is to sit down and have a big conversation about the underlying reasons causing your conflict.

But that’s not always practical or necessary…particularly when looking at the smaller, annoying conflicts we come across every day.

Other times, miscommunication is caused by conflicting personality traits.

And it’s these types of miscommunications that Knight, King, Sage easily solves!

Luckily, we’ve been looking at how to identify different mindsets and perspectives with KKS in a clear and easy-to-use way.

That way you can use it in all of those moments throughout the day, where you don’t have the time, energy, or option to sit down and have those deeper talks.

(If you haven’t, you can read more about how the key and supporting mindsets work in our Foolproof Guide To Understanding KKS (Part 1).

 And in Part 2 you’ll learn about a lot of the positive and defining characteristics of each mindset.)

But there’s even more than we initially covered that’s important to look at!

Each personality type does have a lot of unique characteristics and traits that make them great…

But sometimes these traits get brought out in more extreme ways, leading to miscommunication and conflict, particularly when talking to someone whose key mindset is different than yours.

Let’s take a look at some of the more extreme characteristics of each personality type below:

The Over-Zealous Knight

Conflict - Knioght

Since knights are often very driven, committed, and convicted people (particularly about their cause) it’s not uncommon for them to become so caught up in their passion that reason gets ignored.

Acting from this emotionally driven place tends to put blinders on that make it easy to miss different options, tactics, and instincts that would have otherwise been beneficial.

Furthermore, a knight who gets caught up in all this emotional energy frequently risks coming across hot-headed and reckless, jumping into situations before realizing what’s best.

While not always a clear problem for the knight, it can easily be an unsettling path for those working with them who would prefer a bit more patience and a mindful approach.

Similarly to the above points, a knight’s attention to detail can also be an obstacle. Knights can get so caught up and attached to a specific detail or moment that they lose sight of the bigger picture and can’t easily “move on” until it has been validated or solved.

This limits a knight’s ability to work through problems in a quick and concise manner, often frustrating those around them.

The “blinder” effect, whether by passion, details, or recklessness, poses the largest obstacle for knights, causing them to risk falling into a cycle of repetition that prevents them from following a more effective path.

Learning to be more mindful of their actions can help the knight develop a more well-balanced persona. Journaling, meditation, and a developing a better understanding of themselves, are all great places to start.

The Removed King

Conflict - King

Though kings have a fantastic ability to see life tactically and develop highly efficient plans, it’s not uncommon for them to come across calculating or matter-of-factly when sharing their insights.

While kings don’t mean this maliciously, it can make other people feel a bit uncomfortable and uneasy around them, particularly when efficiency isn’t always the main focus.

The king’s natural ability to plan, especially for a long-term future, also means they risk becoming preoccupied with it (both their plans and the future).

This can limit a king’s ability to fully understand the past or take action in the present, making them seem “all talk and no game.”

A king’s gift for tactics can be a double-edged sword:

On one hand, it allows them to be adaptable, mentally sharp, and excellent leaders. When keeping other people in mind, this can cause feelings of safety and security that allows others to focus on their natural skill sets more effectively.

But on the other hand, if a king’s tactics neglect others and only focus on what’s best for them, other people can feel manipulated and disregarded.

This leads to an interesting sense of morality and respect of authoritative figures. A king’s respect for other people in positions of power is hard earned. While not a bad thing, it does mean that some time needs to be spent earning that trust and respect first.

A king’s demeanor is what’s most affected by their obstacles. Lots of thoughts towards tactics and planning can leave a king feeling removed from their surroundings, which only poses problems later down the line, whether in how much action they’re able to take or how they express themselves (and come across) to others.

Journaling can help a king jot down all of their plans and tactics, allowing them to free up some mental capacity to focus on how they affect the world around them.

The Spacey Sage

Conflict - spacey sage

A sage’s mind is by far, one of their best qualities. But it’s also a source of some of their largest obstacles…

While sages are truly wise and observational people, it’s not uncommon for them to get too caught up in their heads. They’re always thinking, and tend to be less grounded than others.

This isn’t too much of a problem when they’re around other knights and kings or if they’re in a situation that brings out these mindsets, but when left alone, a sage will notice a tendency to get absorbed in their own mental chatter.

A sage, preoccupied by their own thoughts, can accidentally isolate themselves by being too observant. They risk watching, understanding, and processing information to the point that they don’t participate in conversations, events, or activities.

While great connections are being made through their thoughts, others won’t realize this is what’s going on, making the sage seem spacey and distant.

Sometimes all the options a sage can recognize is overwhelming. Each option seems to have equal weight and value, which makes it hard for them to pick one over another, or to recognize which option feels most “right” to them.

This means decision making can be more challenging for sages, which can be a frustrating process for those around them.

Most of the time, a sage’s observation of the past leads to great insights that can be very beneficial. However, they do risk dwelling in the past in an attempt to fully understand it before feeling comfortable letting it go.

This means a sage can miss taking action in the present, or planning ahead for the future.

Knowing when enough of a situation is understood to move on is key to letting go of the past. That way they can find their roots in the present moment and make plans for the future.

Ultimately, a sage needs to learn to control their mind and remember that there is much more than thoughts and observations. Connecting with their body through physical activities, focusing on the present moment, and journaling are all ways that can help a sage overcome their spacey tendencies.

Here’s The Deal…

Yes, there are negative aspects to each personality type as well. And they are equally as important to recognize.

The degree to which these extreme characteristics are present depends on each person.

Not every knight, king, or sage will have all of these problems, nor will these traits be noticeable as clearly as we defined them earlier.

And since everyone is really some combination of all 3 personality types, we can see these traits manifest themselves in just about anyone.

However, noting which traits are a product of which mindset is useful, because each mindset does tend towards a specific set of problems more frequently than the others.

It’s these traits that are usually at the heart of conflicts and miscommunication.

That’s why we need to familiarize ourselves with the above information before we can follow the steps below to help minimize our disagreements.

4 Steps To Solve Day-to-day Conflicts With “Knight, King, Sage”

Whether you’re responsible for a conflict, or you’re having a particular issue with someone else, there’s likely to be miscommunication involved.

Use the following four steps to solve the miscommunication, so that you can have a conversation about the deeper roots of the conflict more clearly.

Just remember…

Stay as understanding as possible and communicate clearly.

Doing otherwise will only make things more difficult for you, since miscommunication is what’s causing your conflict in the first place.

Apply the following steps to whoever is having a hard time, to discover why and what you can do to work towards a resolution.


  1. Identify the person’s Key Mindset

  2. Recall the common traits responsible for miscommunication that Key Mindset tends towards (see above)

  3. Use that information to determine which trait (or traits) are most likely causing your conflict.

  4. Depending on the person’s Key Mindset, apply the following accordingly in addition to other conflict resolution skills (forgiveness, patience, etc.):


  1. Validate the details the knight may be caught up on.
    • Let them know that it’s important to you too. Either address that detail and resume the conversation, or make sure to note that you’ll come back to it after you work through something else.
  1. Help the knight see other options they may be missing.
    • Most of the time they are too emotionally charged to see another route or too emotionally attached to one particular way to abandon it.
  1. Help them calm down from their passion by speaking calmly and remaining patient.
    • As you talk about why they are having the reaction they’re having, they’ll slowly release the extra emotion, helping them think more clearly.


  1. Find out what their plan is and validate it.
    • Let them explain it to you so you are both on the same page. Then you can ask them about particular details of it, or mention any shortcomings you see. The king should appreciate your contributions much more easily after knowing you’re both on the same page.
  1. Help the king see how they might be coming across.
    • If the issue is about the king’s demeanor, chances are they’re too caught up in their tactics to notice how they are affecting their surroundings (particularly you). Once you make them feel secure that you’re on the same page as them, you can help them see how they are coming across.
  1. If the king gets stuck (emotionally or mentally), repeat their words/advice/plans back to them.
    • You’ll remind the king of their tactics and why they chose them in the first place, which will help them respond and recognize any flaws in their plans more quickly.


  1. Validate that you’re really hearing what the sage is saying.
    • Be sure to listen and let them speak their mind. You don’t have to agree (in fact, they’ll usually like to hear why) but don’t just ignore them or stop paying attention to what they’re saying.
  1. Help a sage talk through the different options they see.
    • By doing so, you can help them see which one they really prefer. You’ll also force them to slow down their thoughts by talking out loud, which will help them see things more clearly.
  1. As far as a sage’s tendency to get left out or not participate, go out of your way every now and then to include and incorporate them into different situations/conversations.
    • Sometimes they just need a friendly reminder they’re being too observational and haven’t spoken. Other times they need that extra push to take action instead of thinking through their options.

At The End Of The Day

Using Knight, King, Sage to minimize conflicts comes down to understanding each mindset’s tendency to have certain qualities that are likely to cause miscommunication, and learning how to handle them.

The more you familiarize yourself with the steps and information above, and the more you apply them, the easier it will get!

If you have any questions, or need help applying this to a situation you’re finding yourself in, feel free to leave a comment below. Or if you need to brush up on what Knight, King, Sage is, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our foolproof guide.

And of course, if you know of anyone who’s been struggling lately with a particular conflict, share this article with them. You’d be surprised how much a different perspective can help!

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