Scenario: Margaret (moderately inclined “D” style) is having difficulty in her work relationship with her boss, Susan (highly inclined “D” style).  Margaret has learned to be more flexible in modifying her style than Susan.  Each of them have had DiSC training and been provided with a comparison report.

How would you as a trainer deal with this situation? It appears that the boss has a difficult or abrasive personality that is seen all too often in the workplace.  Is there a specific approach you would offer or throw up your hands and say “I just don’t know, you will have to deal with it?”

While there is no cookie cutter answer for this situation, we have an approach that we would take.  We do not know the whole story; there may be other factors that could cause the ripple in the relationship. Focused solely on the details we have, it is not uncommon to see two D’s struggling over control and territorial issues.  The situation could become more serious when they are under pressure and neither would like to budge, amplifying the situation.

8 Dimensions of Leadership is a great resource for trainers to provide to their leaders regardless of if there is tension or not.  Each participant will receive a personalized Book Map based off a report that guides them through each dimension.  If Susan and Margaret share some of the same dimensions, this could be a cause of friction.

Building relationships are not always characteristic of D styles unless it can help them obtain their results.  These are just generalization and each person is unique in their style and many factors involved.

While the comparison report may cause some push back, D’s will often score high on the forceful scale and that alone can uncover some issues and get them talking about how that impacts their relationship.  Often times, people concentrate only on what they are far apart on in the Comparison Reports and to be honest, some of what we are close on can cause the most grief.  It is important to get both parties to see how a conflict can impact the results.

What do you think of this approach? Do you have other suggestions on how to approach this situation or maybe have a situation of your own that you would like for us to address? Let us know!