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How to resolve conflicts using DISC?

Conflict is inevitable as social beings that we are, and because of the interaction we have with others. It is usual for us to have differences of opinion or very different personalities that can clash. In this article, I will talk about how the different DISC styles can influence conflicts in working life.

As we have seen in previous articles, there are four styles according to the DISC theory. These are dominant (D), influential (I), static (S), and compliant (C). Each presents specific characteristics and are different from the other but complementary. If you want to refresh your memory on the subject, I recommend reading some of the articles written on the web blog.

How we communicate with a style different from ours or how we adapt our message is the key to understanding the reason for conflicts and solving them. Let’s look at each style and try to analyze possible causes of conflicts in the office.

In the case of a predominantly D (dominant) person, her style will seek (as the name says) to dominate the conversation and lead. Also, she will need only basic information (no details) to decide quickly. Conflicts can arise when the other party takes their time to express themselves or is very sensitive. This is because dominant people tend to express themselves in a way that could be taken as aggressive. People with a dominant style (D) are not people-oriented, so they do not have humility, sympathy, or empathy as their strength. On the contrary, they tend to be direct, energetic and sarcastic. A person with a static personality (S) might feel challenged talking to a dominant (D). This can even become a human resources issue.

Now let’s look at a person with a predominantly I (influential) style. This style is very expressive, enthusiastic and verbal, so it will always seek to be the center of attention. In addition, they are very self-confident people with a very positive attitude. The point is that listening is not their strength, and they struggle to be disciplined and organized, so they cannot always meet goals on time. Conflicts can appear when the other party does not have the patience to listening talking (give them their space and recognition) or expect efficiency and effectiveness from them when executing something.

A person with a complaint (C) personality may find it highly frustrating to talk to someone with an influential (I) personality as she will feel that her planning and details are being ignored or perhaps that she is wasting her time. Obviously, when working in groups, the ideal is to have all personality styles working together, but clearly, these two styles will seek to be separate.

A person with a predominantly S (static) style seeks tranquility and does things at her own pace. In addition, she will fight the changes until the end because they like her routines a lot. On the other hand, they love to listen to others, especially influential (I). You have to be aware that they do not usually express their emotions (or speak) unless they are in a circle of trust. As mentioned, your biggest challenge (and therefore your greatest chance of conflict) comes when talking to Dominants (D). This is because their feelings can be hurt relatively quickly, and they can opt for passive-aggressive behavior. This type of conflict is common in offices. We can expect a conflict if they are pressured to do something quickly or exposed in front of others, which can be typical behavior of a dominant (D).

Finally, we have people with a predominantly C (compliance) style. As their name implies, these individuals have great respect for norms or rules. In addition, they are perfectionists and retailers. They plan down to the last detail and prefer to wait until they have all the information before deciding. His primary motivation will always be to comply on time and in the best possible way. However, they have a lot of difficulty socializing, managing other people’s feelings, or being empathetic. Conflicts can arise when a person with a compliance style (C) is pressured to take risks or make hasty decisions before they can gather the information, they feel is necessary. On the other hand, they may constantly disagree with influential people (I), given their need for a procedure or structure. Since their nature makes them pessimistic and inflexible, they can generate an antipathy towards other more optimistic styles, such as dominant (D) or influential (I).

As we have seen, there is probably a problem of understanding between different DISC styles behind every conflict you know of. It is something normal in the world of work and can be solved by accepting that the person we are discussing needs a message to be delivered or something requested in a certain way. In other words, we must adapt our style to the person with whom we want to establish a professional relationship.

It helps to identify the predominant style of the person we speak with. In this sense, coaching can help you discover your DISC style and begin to recognize that of others. That way, you can lessen the likelihood of conflict or resolve existing conflicts.

If you want to know more about this topic, do not hesitate to contact me via the web or schedule an appointment directly to talk about a DISC assessment or executive coaching.

Alexander Martinez

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