Using DISC to Resolve Conflict

by Feb 13, 2020

Have you ever had a conflict with a coworker that turned into an all out battle royale, only to realize it was caused by a small miscommunication? 

Conflict is natural and bound to occur in every organization. And, sometimes conflict can even lead to some pretty amazing ideas!

But, we all know that there is such a thing as unhealthy conflict – especially if you’re in HR. 

Interestingly, conflict often boils down to a difference in communication styles.

For example, let’s say Doris’ communication is short and to the point, and her emails are never longer than a few sentences.  Her coworker, Ian, always exchanges pleasantries before meetings and adds a lot of information when he’s writing emails, making them much longer. 

If Ian sends a too-long email to Doris, she might become frustrated, think that reading the entire email is a waste of her time, and not respond. On the other hand, if Doris sends Ian an email that says, “Need to meet right now,” Ian may be thrown off, try to interpret her mood, or even avoid her. 

Over time, these interactions can build up and create unnecessary animosity between coworkers, not to mention hinder their ability to do their jobs well. Then, when the volcano erupts, HR is left to pick up the pieces. 

Enter DISC, HR’s best friend when it comes to avoiding miscommunication and maintaining a civil workplace. 

The DISC assessment identifies communication tendencies based on preferences for people or tasks, and pace of work. Knowing your own preferences and the preferences of your teammates can increase collaboration as you learn what people (and you) need from others when communicating. 

Now, when Ian is crafting his emails to Doris, he can remove some of the “extra stuff,” knowing she prefers direct communication. When Doris is crafting an email to Ian, she may add in a little “Good Morning,” or add some context on what she needs. This would ease Ian’s uncertainty around short messages. 

If you’re interested in learning more about DISC, we are hosting a DISC webinar on March 19th, 2020!

We’re going to talk about resolving conflict using some DISC tools, and even talk about employee engagement and personal leadership. 

Unhealthy conflict is poison to your organization.

It’s important to provide employees with useful tools for maneuvering the tricky intricacies of interpersonal communication – starting with the tool of awareness. 

Register here to claim your spot. 

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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