Conflict in the workplace is a normal occurrence. It is the expression of that conflict which determines whether it is constructive or destructive. In The Root of Conflict, Part 1 we discuss the main causes of workplace conflict; poor communication, differences in personalities, different values, and competition. Picture negative conflict as a disease in an organization. Left untreated, what may have begun as a small ailment needing some TLC and a good scrubbing and dressing changes may grow into a festering wound that can destroy the organization. Side effects range from mental health concerns for employees, a decrease in productivity, decrease in employee reliability and attendance or an increase in turnover rates, to even the severest extremes; potential work place violence. These side effects of negative conflict can impact the product, the team, and the organization as a whole.
Destructive conflict will appear differently in every organization because the presentation of conflict relies solely on the personalities of the people and situation involved. For this reason, it’s important that good leaders learn was to mitigate conflict before it becomes destructive in the first place. The DiSC Profile, published by Wiley is a non-judgmental tool designed to improve a manager’s self-awareness of conflict-spurring behaviors. The four letters in DiSC correspond to different emphasis people place in their environment.
D- Dominance- Accomplishing results, the bottom line, and confidence
I - Influence- Influencing or persuading others, openness, building relationships
S - Steadiness- Cooperation, sincerity, and dependability
C - Conscientiousness- Quality and accuracy expertise, competency
There are many free options to complete the DiSC that can be found online, but they oftentimes don’t include the training required to truly understand the personality types and understand the assessment results in a way that is beneficial for a manager or organization. Front Line offers the official DiSC assessment and training to help leaders better combat conflict in the workplace.
With each trait, there are some basic communication styles and conflict styles that arise. For example:
- People who tend to fall more into the Dominance trait, are more prone to be blunt and straight to the point and during conflict focus on logic and victory.
- People landing in the influence category, tend to dislike being ignored and enjoy collaborating so during a conflict they will lean toward a focus on expression and feelings.
- People who lean more into the Steadiness category, dislike being rushed as they are calm in their manner and approach. In conflict, they will focus more on feelings and achieving an overall consensus.
- People who fall into the Conscientiousness trait, want to know the details; all the details. They fear being wrong and their conflict focus is justice and logic.
As with many things, people tend to fall somewhere in the spectrum of the assessment and aren’t all one trait or another. The assessment tool gives employees and their leadership the tools to see where there is overlap and which methods and strategies can best apply to the individual.
Understanding those boiled- down basics, it’s simple to see how different personalities can interact in a conflict-laden environment. A good manager can learn to understand these personality traits and see areas to focus on to stave off avenues for conflict in the workplace or guide people to satisfying and healthy resolutions. Front Line Leadership Program offers the official DiSC assessment as well as a comprehensive report. To see how this valuable tool can help your organization run smoother, contact Robert Winter at 832-483-5535 or fill out the contact form on our contact page. Impactful strategies for successful leaders start at Front Line. Stay tuned for part two of this series, which discusses how DiSC assessments can help leadership combat workplace conflict.