How Your DiSC Profile Impacts the Way You Face Challenges.


In business and in our personal lives we are often faced with challenges that test who we are and what we’re capable of.  Your DiSC profile will influence the way you prioritize managing your challenges.  If you’re aware of your default DiSC profile and the associated strengths and challenges, you can be more adaptable when you are faced with adversity.

Imagine this scenario: You lead a team of senior managers, and one of your managers, Bob, is not performing well.  You find that Bob is disorganized and it is rare that he will be proactive with his work.  You’ve heard feedback from other people on the team that Bob does not pull his weight and many are frustrated which is causing tension.  You have a good working relationship with Bob and respect his “family values.”  You’ve been tasked with resolving the tension within the team.

Certainly your DiSC profile will impact the way you face this challenge.  Let’s discover how each style will likely face this challenge.

D – Dominance.  Someone with a D style would simply address Bob at the next possible opportunity.  The conversation would be short and to the point.  The D style wouldn’t bother adding in any fluff in order to make Bob feel better; he would simply tell him the expectations and consequences, and a timeline to show improvement.  This may make Bob feel that his job is in jeopardy and that he’s underperforming in all areas.  Although this was not the intent of the D, it may leave Bob feeling less motivated to make change as he may feel he has no support.

i – Influence.  Someone with an I style would begin by inviting Bob to lunch.  Lunch would give them an opportunity to catch up on life before jumping right into the negative feedback; the “i” style would want the conversation to include some socializing to ease the tension.  Rather than focusing on Bob’s pitfalls, they would begin by asking how Bob’s family is doing and what he thinks about last night’s sporting event.  This may confuse Bob as he is now under the impression that he was given extra attention and reinforcement as he was invited to lunch with ‘the boss’ – the lunch then focused on socializing rather than the issue at hand, furthering Bob’s confusion.

S – Steadiness.  Someone with an S style would be concerned with how this negative feedback was going to impact Bob and his team.  The S style would want to be sure that Bob feels comfortable, valued and respected as part of the team, before the negative feedback and new expectations were given.  The S person would approach Bob with open and accepting arms, and the message may come across a bit mixed to Bob as he is being told that he is valued and respected, but not fulfilling his duties all in the same conversation.

C – Contentiousness.  Someone with the C style would be intimidated about giving Bob the feedback required.  The C person will likely shut down and avoid Bob at all costs for the next week or so, hoping that the problem will resolve itself on its own.  Although providing Bob with this feedback is for the good of the team, and for Bob – it is not a task that comes easily for someone with a C style.

Remember nREMEMBER – There is not a “best” style for handling conflict – each style has its shortcomings, depending on the other person you are dealing with.  Once you understand what your primary and secondary styles are, you can work to adapt to the other person.



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