Using DISC to Resolve Conflict in the Workplace

Are you sitting comfortably? I’m Nicola from The People Mentor, and today I want to talk about workplace conflict and how DISC can help you prevent and resolve it.  

Every workplace is a mix of people with different personalities, values, beliefs, experiences, and backgrounds, so at some point, conflict is inevitable. Some conflicts last as long as the initial anger or irritation and they blow over quite quickly, but some can fester and become a real issue, affecting morale and the business on a much deeper level.  

As a business owner who wants a team of motivated, trustworthy, and engaged employees who can run things if you’re not there, a workplace full of conflict is the last thing you want. That’s why it’s in your interest to resolve it at the earliest opportunity. If conflict is not resolved, people become less engaged, less productive, and they may want to leave.  

The good news is that DISC can help you understand why your employees want to do things a certain way, why they feel particular things are important, and how they will react in a conflict situation. The more you understand what makes them tick, the easier it will be to prevent and resolve conflict.  

So what should be your first steps when you’re trying to resolve a workplace conflict?  

First, try to get to the bottom of the real issue and understand it from another person’s perspective.

Conflict often rears its head because someone feels as if they aren’t being listened to, so put your ego and thoughts on the matter aside for a moment, ask what the real issue is, and ask those involved to help you understand the situation.  

Next, remember that your job is to bring the conflict to a resolution that satisfies everyone.

Think about how you could achieve a positive outcome. Stay calm, be assertive, and listen to what people have to say. Keep your emotions under control and your body language open and relaxed, or you risk inflaming the situation.  

Then, consider the DISC personality styles of the employees involved in the conflict.

You know what makes them tick, you know what they’re afraid of, and you know how they react when they’re stressed. A big advantage of understanding DISC personality styles is that you’ll understand how to communicate effectively with different personalities and get them to react more positively to what you have to say.  

Lastly, try and come up with a plan of action that will satisfy everyone involved.

This will involve finding some common ground and compromising on some things, but it’s the best way to resolve a conflict fairly. Make sure that you follow up on the action plan at an agreed time to make sure that any conflict has been resolved and any further issues are addressed.  

So understanding the DISC personality styles can help you understand how different employees will react in conflict situations, and not only that, it can help you understand how you can put them at ease and resolve workplace tension or discord.  

Here are some useful things to know about the DISC personality types;

How they’re likely to behave when faced with conflict, and what you can do to diffuse it.  

A Dominant personality type prefers directness, and they’ll be fine dealing with an issue right away. These people aren’t the most patient, so get to the point.

They don’t respond to emotional arguments, so stick to the facts, and they want to focus on solutions rather than the problem. If you’re managing a Dominant personality type they won’t be hesitant to try and take action to resolve an issue and that’s a real positive.  

An Influence personality type likes to engage in friendly conversation, so make sure that any communication with them is not aggressive or confrontational, and that you assure them that what you’re saying is not personal.

These people do understand and respond to emotions, so try telling them how something made you or another person feel. Try to stay relaxed, listen to them and don’t interrupt.  

This personality type does not have a sense of urgency, so you may come into conflict often about time management or time keeping-bear this in mind, and include the potential for flexibility in any action plan to improve the situation and get the best out of them.  

The Steadiness personality type is not one for conflict. They appreciate harmony and good relationships, so whenever you have to have a difficult conversation with them, remind them that they’re still valued and appreciated.  

This person will try to avoid conflict at all costs, so be sure not to be aggressive when you speak to them as they will often just retreat or placate you without any intention of resolving the issue

The good thing about these people is that they’re very good listeners, so if you present your arguments in a polite and considerate way, they will take on board everything you have to say.  

Compliant people can be sensitive and detest criticism of any kind. If you confront these people, they can be resentful and take it personally, so don’t use accusatory or blaming language like “you always/never do x, y, and z…” Always pencil in a time to talk to compliant people, never just spring a difficult conversation on them.  

These people are very good at solving problems and they are good at putting plans in place to resolve an issue. They’re organised and precise people, so just know that it might seem that they work more slowly than others. Nevertheless, they’ll get the job done.  

Hopefully, you’ve been able to identify some of your employees in the DISC personality descriptions and that next time a conflict arises, you can use your newfound knowledge to understand them better and resolve tensions much more easily.  

Do you want your team to have the confidence and ability to run the business even when you are not there? Do you want a team that understands its remit and accountability, and that keeps going when you’re busy on other things? 

Do you want to be able to take holidays and spend time with your family, safe in the knowledge that your business is still going places? Do you want to feel confident in your employees and know that they feel supported and cared for?  

Do you want a workplace that has a great atmosphere, where everyone has each other’s back and conflicts are easily resolved? Do you want a team that’s more productive because they’re utilising the skills they’ve learned and looking at the business in a strategic way, wanting it to grow and develop?  

I can help.  

I work with you and your team identifying needs and sharing bite-size training, virtually and on the work premises. 

I involve the team through workshops and 1-2-1s to upskill and develop both the team and individuals. I use team building activities to bond the team. 

Using strengths bite-size training and performance management the team will develop a strategic view of what’s needed for the business to flourish. 

Through the involvement of the team and capitalising on people’s strengths, it will create a high performing team that wants to go the extra mile. Pulling the team together stops sub-cultures and creates a feeling of belonging. 

Your team will develop confidence in their abilities and will learn how to make decisions and move forward, even when you are not there. 

Employees like to be involved and with the skills, I will pass on to you and your team you will see morale and working relationships improve. 

All of my consulting packages can incorporate DISC and I also run a one-hour DISC information session where we look at what DISC is and how you can use it in your business to create a more harmonious workplace, grow your business, and build a more secure future.  

Get in touch to find out more about how I can help you create the business you envisaged when you started. 

 Want to know more about using DiSC read this blog

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